How a MLB utility man changed the future of the NFL, Patriots and Tom Brady

How a MLB utility man changed the future of the NFL, Patriots and Tom Brady

F.P. Santangelo was a career .245 hitter who totaled 21 homers in his seven seasons playing mostly outfield and a little infield with four major league teams.

But he changed the fortunes of the NFL, the New England Patriots and a certain 18th-round Montreal Expos’ draft pick from Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., forever. 

Brady’s baseball days as a catcher at Serra are well-documented. MMQB takes another spin through it in a story that recalls Brady visiting both the Kingdome in Seattle and Candlestick Park in San Francisco for baseball workouts while he was being scouted. 

Santangelo, now a broadcaster for the Washington Nationals, was then a 27-year-old outfielder who was assigned to be the 17-year-old Brady’s chaperone for his day at Candlestick before the Expos played a game there. 

In the clubhouse, Santangelo and other Expos were talking to the catching prospect about the other sport he played.

“We were telling him. ‘Why would you make $800 a month in the minor leagues when you can be the quarterback at the University of Michigan?" Santangelo told MMQB. "You’re a good-looking guy, you can probably have a lot of fun off the field, too.’

“We told him: ‘Go play football at Michigan! Are you kidding me?’”

The rest, of course, is football history. Goodbye, 507th overall pick in the MLB draft. Hello, 199th pick in the NFL draft.

The last quote in the MMQB story is from Expos scout John Hughes, who recalled what he told his friends years later as he watched a Super Bowl.

“If I could’ve signed this guy, I would’ve changed the entire history of the NFL,” Hughes said. “The NFL would’ve never been the same. Who would’ve known?”

Bill Belichick issues statement following Patriots kneeling

Bill Belichick issues statement following Patriots kneeling

Bill Belichick issued the following statement on Monday, a day after 16 Patriots took a knee in protest of racial inequality and Donald Trump's comments against the NFL:

“I have immense respect and admiration for our players, for how they conduct themselves professionally as New England Patriots and for how they represent themselves, their families and community as men.  I have coached football for over four decades and one of the greatest things about being in this environment is the diversity of people, backgrounds, viewpoints and relationships we are fortunate to experience.  As with any large group of people, there is a variety of perspectives and opinions on many topics.  Discussions occur between myself, individual players, groups and the entire team on an ongoing basis.  They concern the team and other issues surrounding the team.  I am going to keep the specifics of those conversations private.  I will do what I feel is best for the team in my role as head coach and collectively, we will work together to find the best way to proceed.”