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Jack Nicklaus says he would’ve been a switch-hitting catcher

Mar 30, 2013, 9:45 PM EDT

Jack Nicklaus AP

Speaking to Golf Digest, Jack Nicklaus says that if he hadn’t gotten into golf, he would’ve been a baseball player. Specifically, a switch-hitting catcher. Via’s Cut 4:

If I never had gotten into golf, I think I’d have been a baseball player. My first love was baseball. I was a catcher. I was a good, strong hitter — a switch hitter — with a good arm. But baseball was a sport where I needed someone else to throw the ball back, and you’re waiting on a dusty field for other kids to show up. Heck, I could go to the golf course and practice whenever I wanted to practice, and I didn’t have to rely on someone else. That’s what ran me out of baseball.

I think Nicklaus made the right choice, though. He has 18 major championships under his belt along with 73 PGA Tour wins. Not too shabby.

  1. greymares - Mar 30, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    It always amazes me that old guys ( like me ) claim the could have been great at something they should have tried 50 years ago.

    • kiwicricket - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      No offense, but I am more inclined to believe Jack Nicklaus than you.

      • fanofevilempire - Mar 31, 2013 at 7:15 AM

        you don’t know Jack.

      • greymares - Mar 31, 2013 at 8:45 AM

        no offense taken, but being a famous,great golpher does stop you from being a major fact it enhances it based on the fact that people like you will believe what he says.why do you think we didn’t hear about his baseball prowess years ago ? because he didn’t think of it yet.

    • bla bla bla - Mar 31, 2013 at 3:27 AM

      Not me. I was the worst baseball player that ever lived.

      • saxophone266 - Apr 9, 2015 at 11:30 PM

        I did hear of Jack’s baseball ability 50 years ago. In fact, he was considered behind Johnny Bench, one of the top prospects in the country….as a catcher.

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 31, 2013 at 7:13 AM

      Jack wants to be Tiger.

      • ptfu - Mar 31, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        Understandable. But I’m not sure Leyland would give him much playing time, what with Avila being a pretty decent catcher.

      • manchestermiracle - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        Don’t we all. Oh, you meant “a” Tiger….Never mind…

  2. dowhatifeellike - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    And I can throw this football over them mountains.

  3. historiophiliac - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    A switch-hitting catcher? Jack just got a whole lot more interesting.

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 31, 2013 at 7:15 AM

      what he really means is he wanted to hang out with Tiger
      and be with those strippers and porn stars, but he likes
      boys not girls.

  4. vpisteve99 - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    I would guess the correct defensive alignment against Jack would have been strong up-the-middle.

  5. brewcrewfan54 - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    Isn’t Jack generally considered pretty selfish? No surprise he blames not playing ball on other people not willing to show up. Maybe they just didn’t want to play with him.

  6. tfbuckfutter - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    I would have made a great basketball player if it wasn’t for my damn short parents and their crappy genes.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:06 PM

      What else you got? — Spud Webb

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 31, 2013 at 2:05 AM

        They actually used to call me Muggsy when we’d play.

  7. abaird2012 - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    How do we know that he made the right choice? Maybe he would have been another Mickey Mantle — only sober and a catcher.

  8. retaeyssup - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Joke acknowledged, Historio. Gave me a laugh.

  9. dondada10 - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    I could’ve been a championship cyclist if it weren’t for my third leg.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:05 PM

      Pretty sure that one *needs* an ellipsis.

  10. contraryguy - Mar 31, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Jack doesn’t say he could have been an MLB star, or even a great player, but he has been successful at most everything he’s done in life; so given the chance he probably would’ve been a pretty good catcher.

  11. unclemosesgreen - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Low ball hitter.

    Why not? Tiger wanted to be a Navy SEAL.

  12. gloccamorra - Mar 31, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Did he ever play in any organized league? Little League? Pop Warner? We can’t assess this claim without stats generated in the heat of competition.

  13. halohonk - Mar 31, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Tiger couldnt carry Jacks bag strap.

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