QB/Outfielder Becomes First “20TD-15HR” Player …
Clemson, S.C.—Three months ago, Clemson quarterback and outfielder Kyle Parker privately told Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney that his goal for the 2009-10 academic year was a “20-20.”
He already had thrown 20 touchdown passes as the quarterback of the Clemson football team, helping the Tigers earn a final top-25 ranking and the ACC Atlantic Division Championship. He wanted to match that with 20 home runs on the baseball diamond and thereby help the Tigers win an ACC baseball championship.
Research over the past month – which included contacting every Division I school that plays college football – revealed that no athlete ever had achieved even a “20-15” in the same academic year (or any other year for that matter). Wednesday night, Parker hit a grand slam in the second inning of Clemson’s 22-4 victory over USC Upstate, his 15th home run of the year.
Parker currently leads the ACC in home runs with 15 and now ranks 10th in the Clemson record book with 41 career home runs. He is hitting .372 for the season, entering this weekend’s series versus North Carolina with 47 runs scored and a .752 slugging percentage (both team-bests) to go with 40 RBI, second-best on the team.
Only two other Division I football-basketball athletes in history have recorded a “20-10,” with touchdown passes and home runs. Rodney Peete of Southern California had 21 touchdown passes in the fall of 1987, then hit 12 home runs for the Trojans baseball team in the spring of 1988. Josh Fields of Oklahoma State had 21 touchdown passes for the Cowboys in the fall of 2003, then hit 10 home runs for the baseball team in the spring of 2004. Fields now is a member og the Kansas City Royals.
John Elway never achieved a “20-10” at Stanford, but he came close. Elway hit nine home runs for the Stanford baseball team in the spring of 1982, then threw 24 touchdown passes for the Stanford football team in the fall of 1982 (a calendar-year accomplishment, as opposed to the academic-year feats of Parker, Peete and Fields.
While the “20-15” already is an unprecedented accomplishment in Division I college sports history, Parker wants to see his original goal to its finish. “20-30 just sounds better,” said Parker.
Collegebaseball360.com has followed Parker and other two-sport student athletes since last fall, in our exclusive Two-Sport Reports.
(Courtesy Clemson Sports Information; edited by CB360.com)