Josh Booty

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Joshua Gibson Booty

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Biographical Information[edit]

Josh Booty was considered as good as future NFL star Peyton Manning when they were both high school quarterbacks but he elected to play baseball instead after being the 5th overall pick in the 1994 amateur draft, by the Florida Marlins. A third baseman, he washed out of baseball after hitting .269 in 13 games spread over three seasons with the Marlins. He then went to Louisiana State University and was their quarterback for some time but did not reach the fame and glory in either sport that he was expected to. He played as a back up on the Cleveland Browns from 2001-2003. He later spent some time in preseason with the Oakland Raiders. He was always a back-up the NFL, seeing most of his action on the practice squad.

In 2013, Booty returned to baseball through an unusual route, winning a reality television show entitled The Next Knuckler, produced by the MLB Network. Now 38 years old, Booty proved to have the best knuckleball among the competitors on the show, all five of whom were former college football quarterbacks like him. The win meant that he was invited to spring training by the Arizona Diamondbacks as a non-roster player, with a chance to return to organized baseball in his new capacity as a pitcher. In addition to his knuckler, his fastball reaches 89 mph, a speed no other knuckleballer can reach; that combination made him quite an intriguing prospect, in spite of his age. There was a little snag, however, in that Booty was still technically the property of the Marlins, who had placed him on their restricted list, when he first retired 15 years earlier. While the Fish had no problems with Booty getting a tryout, they could exercise their rights should Booty demonstrate that he is a potential major league player again.

His younger brother, John David, who was also a top high school quarterback recruit, was a backup quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings and also one of the finalists on The Next Knuckler.

In the 1993 World Junior Championship, Booty hit .257 with 9 RBI as the second baseman for a Team USA that won Silver.

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