If you’re a fan of journeymen Major League Baseball relief pitchers from the mid-1990s and early 2000s, this is your kind of NFL draft.
Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes went 10th overall to the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night. Mahomes is a former 37th-round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2014 and, more significantly, the son of 11-year MLB reliever Pat Mahomes. This is a family that’s proven adept at throwing balls in competitive environments. The elder Mahomes has a glorious Baseball Reference page. He tossed 709 major league innings between 1992 and 2003, pitching for the Twins, Mets, Red Sox, Rangers, Cubs, and Pirates. He had a cup of coffee in the Montreal Expos’ organization in 2004, which is why he’s in an Expos uniform in the headshot topping this article.
Mahomes was never a star. A sixth-round pick by the Twins in 1988, he went on to post a career Wins Above Replacement total of 0.1. His earned run average was 5.47. He had five saves across his 308 appearance, and he made 63 starts. He was versatile if nothing else, the sort of innings-eater who’s stocked pitching staffs for an eternity. There are thousands of pitchers like Mahomes scattered throughout baseball history, but it’s impressive that he hung around major league staffs for as long as he did. That’s not easy. He had one really strong year in his career: 1999, when he came out of the Mets’ bullpen 39 times and notched a 3.68 earned run average that was 21 percent better than the league average.
He also pitched for Yokohama in Japan in 1997 and 1998. His last big league appearance was on Aug. 26, 2003. He started for the Pirates that day against the Marlins and gave up two runs in five innings, striking out two and walking one. Mike Lincoln got the win in a 4-3 Pirates triumph, but Mahomes was solid. It was unremarkable but entirely professional, much like the rest of Mahomes’ career. Enough about that, though. His son Patrick is now an NFL quarterback, as he makes the transition from air raid to the pros. No matter how brilliant his career is, Mahomes won’t be the first professional ball-thrower in his own family.