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Deion Sanders is an athlete who played professional football and baseball and is the only person to play in both a Super Bowl and the World Series.
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Professional football and baseball player, television football analyst. Born August 9, 1967, in Fort Myers, Florida, Deion Sanders was one of the most electrifying professional athletes ever to step onto the field. Armed with superb athletic ability and a love for the spotlight, Sanders proved his worth, and backed up his brash confidence in Major League Baseball and the National Football League, helping to lead his teams to each sports' biggest games, and becoming football's first two-way starter since 1962. "I never wanted to be mediocre at anything," Sanders once said. "I wanted to be the best."
It didn't hurt that Sanders possessed obscene athletic talent. By the age of eight, he was competing in organized baseball and football. At North Fort Myers High School, Sanders was all-state in football, baseball, and basketball. On the football field, he played both cornerback and quarterback. On the basketball court, he could score with ease. After one particularly hot night of shooting that saw Sanders score 30 points, a friend nicknamed him "Prime Time", a moniker that's stuck ever since.
For college, Sanders elected not to venture too far and enrolled at Florida State, leading the Seminoles baseball club to the College World Series, and its football team to the Sugar Bowl.
At Florida State, Sanders dropped basketball, choosing instead to become just a two-sport athlete. But the experiment didn't last long, and Deion soon found himself on the school's track team, helping it win a conference championship.
Sanders finished his career at Florida State as a two-time All American with 14 interceptions, and a 1988 Jim Thorpe Award win for top defensive back. He was selected fifth overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 1989 NFL draft. At the time, the thinking was that Sanders would concentrate solely on football, but "Neon Deion" as he was sometimes called, had other things in mind.
He signed on to play with the New York Yankees, taking the outfield for the summer of 1989 for the franchise's Triple-A club in Columbus, Ohio. When he was called up to the parent club, he hit his first homerun against Seattle on September 5. That same week, after a protracted contract negotiation period, Sanders and the Falcons agreed on a four-year $4.4 million deal. Three days after inking the deal, he justified the big money by running back his first punt for a score, making him the only athlete ever to hit a homerun and get a touchdown in the same seven-day period.
But the ease with which Sanders turned himself into an elite football player wasn't there for him on the baseball diamond.
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