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Fri-YAY Listicle: Famous Notre Dame Football Players That Also Played Baseball

These guys hit the diamond and the gridiron

Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers
A Notre Dame guy and a Notre Dame dad
Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Welcome, everyone, to the weekly One Foot Down listicle! Each week on Friday, Pat Rick and I will alternate providing for you all a listicle of the greatest/top/best Notre Dame Fighting Irish-related things we can think of. They might be more serious, but mostly they will probably be wacky (what else would you honestly expect from the two of us?). We are AMPED to provide these for you each week.

This week, I’m doing an ode to the Notre Dame Baseball Team. They put on an absolutely BOSS performance this season and into the NCAA Super Regionals, coming just a few runs shy of making it to the College World Series. They were incredibly fun to watch. In this listicle, we’re going to detail some of my favorite and relatively recent Notre Dame Football players who also played baseball for the Irish. This is not a ranking, just running through some names here.


Honorable Mention: Pat Connaughton

Notre Dame v Kentucky Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Yes, Pat of course played for NDMBB and also is a quality bench player in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks. I had to include him because he is one of the best to do it and one of my favorite Notre Dame athletes of recent memory. He was good enough to be drafted and play in two separate professional leagues. Not many people can do that.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Now, back to football players.

Golden Tate

Our man Golden only played two seasons for the Notre Dame Baseball Team before focusing solely on football. He did get up to a .329 batting average in his sophomore season while playing in 55 games. He was no slouch on the diamond, and we all know how he was on the football field.

Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers
Taking BP with the Tigers when he played for the Lions
Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Evan Sharpley

Everyone’s favorite backup QB from Marshall, MI. Evan talked a couple years ago a little bit about playing two sports at Notre Dame. He actually did pretty well on the baseball team as well. He led the team in homeruns in 2008! He also had 40 RBIs. Not bad for #13 on the football field and #1 in the hearts.

USC v Notre Dame
HAHAHA this game
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Cole Kmet

The most recent football-baseball combo player that we have. Kmet was just drafted to the Chicago Bears in the 2020 NFL Draft, playing in games last season and scoring a couple of TDs. He, like Tate, played through his sophomore season but then decided to focus more on football. Cole pitched for the Irish, and he did pretty well too. He had a game with 11 strikeouts while also making four straight appearances in 2019 without giving up a hit.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Stanford Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Samardzija

And we get to The Shark. I mean what a beast. Excellent 2005 and 2006 football seasons for the Irish. A fan and team favorite. Oh yeah and he has had a 13+ year career in the MLB. He has played for the Cubs (much to liking of many Notre Dame Football fans), As, White Sox, and Giants. He listed a 2.95 ERA as a college pitcher while he was having all of this football success, too. He is the man, and he also probably could’ve been drafted in the NFL. But, he chose the MLB, which paid off in spades. Just an absolute legend.

MLB: Game Two-San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Any other players to mention, even from different sports? Let me know in the comments or sound off about these guys in this post.