Before we dive into the quote itself, let’s get a couple quick facts out of the way. Former Auburn Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1-overall NFL Draft pick Cam Newton measures in at 6-foot-5 and roughly 245 pounds. That makes him bigger than most linebackers- and definitely more muscular than most Major League pitchers.
Curiously, however, Cam the Man admitted that being chased by 270-plus pound defensive linemen does not scare him.
But the prospect of being hit by a pitch in middle school baseball was enough to get him to quit the game altogether.
First, via ESPN the Magazine, Newton explains his Little League positioning.
Around age 9, I played baseball too. I played center field because I loved Ken Griffey Jr. I really admired him. I was always a pretty good athlete, so my coach would shuffle me around to third base or shortstop, which was fine with me.
However, Newton was forced to deal with something nearly every big-time athlete does at some point in their careers-pick one sport over another.
But Cam’s rationale behind picking the gridiron over the diamond is something most of us would not expect.
I quit baseball at 14 because I was afraid of the pitches. The kids started getting better and throwing faster, and it would’ve hurt getting hit by that ball, so I stopped playing….. My mom always wondered how I could be afraid of a little baseball when I always had these huge guys chasing me. It’s a good question.
Again, most folks would chose the rare potentiality of being hit by a pitch over being sacked by abnormally large men hoping to rip one’s brains out.
Well, as Cam himself pointed out, that right there is a very good question.
[H/T: For The Win]