Tyler Gaffney returns to baseball after four years chasing NFL dream

Getty Images

Baseball always was Tyler Gaffney’s first love, and after four seasons spent chasing a football dream, the former running back has returned to the diamond.

“I was all-in for football, [but] over the years, I missed baseball,” Gaffney said, via James Crabtree-Hannigan of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I had a couple of injuries, and they all just came pointing back to this.”

A sixth-round pick of the Panthers in 2014, Gaffney never played a down in the NFL. But he won two Super Bowl rings as a member of the Patriots, spending 2014 on injured reserve and 2016 on the practice squad.

The Jaguars placed Gaffney on injured reserve last August, and he officially retired from the NFL in April. He returned to the Pirates organization, which drafted him in the 24th round out of Stanford in 2012.

“You can learn a lot from just perspective,” Gaffney said. “I was around all-time greats — Tom Brady, Bill Belichick. I learned from them more than just football. I learned how to go about your business, how to be a professional, how to be successful. I’d like to think that I act like that in this locker room.”

The left fielder, 27, was called up to Class AA Altoona from high-A Bradenton on June 2. He is batting .257 with a .341 on-base percentage.

14 responses to “Tyler Gaffney returns to baseball after four years chasing NFL dream

  1. Never played a game and got two superbowl rings? Sounds like a typical cheating Patriot.

  2. Just stay on the practice squad and get another ring vs. being marooned in Altoona. Not much of a career either way.

  3. Belichick and Brady never hit a slider, what perspective are we talking about here. All due respect, no one wins in the locker room. The world has enough Tebows.

  4. He had a lot of promise and potential and a good attitude. It was unfortunate that he had such an injury stricken career, but hopefully it will work out for baseball!

  5. Minor league bus rides suck. But football practice is the worst. The only bright side is game day and he had none. Now he has a game day almost every day. He also got paid about 2 mil and went to Stanford.

    He did the right thing and will end up a double sport coach, one day. Or maybe he took Stanford seriously, so who knows.

  6. Cut the guy some slack.Just being a professional athlete in two sports is quite an achievement!

  7. I wish this young man the best, in chasing his dream. There are VERY few ppl, who are talented enough to play one sport, let alone 2 sports, at that level.

  8. octigerblog says:
    July 8, 2018 at 7:31 am
    Guy is putting up Tebow like numbers. Do the Pirates play the Mets in September?
    ———
    Gaffney hit .291/.391/.470 (Tebow hit .231/.307/.356 at the same level as a 29 year-old) before his promotion and has 11 stolen bases. More runs, triples, etc in about 20 fewer games. Also a few years younger than Tebow so his performance is better.

  9. Belichick and Brady never hit a slider, what perspective are we talking about here. All due respect, no one wins in the locker room. The world has enough Tebows.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Actually, Brady has. He was drafted by Expos out of high school before deciding on playing baseball.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!