Baseball and Big Boards

Mel Kiper's love of baseball rivals his passion for football. ESPN Illustration

Buster Olney is on vacation this week, so for the second straight year, guest columnists are writing the lead of his column in his absence. On Sunday, D-backs reliever Brad Ziegler talked about MLBPA head Michael Weiner, who is battling cancer. A's reliever Sean Doolittle discussed what it's like to play for the team synonymous with "Moneyball." Today, ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. discusses his love of baseball, as well as some great baseball players who could have cut it in the NFL.

I’m looking at the Mel Kiper NFL Draft Guide from 1979 -- this was Volume No. 1. I was new to the business and, in reality, it wasn’t a business at all. I was 18. In it I added a profile for a player I had a good hunch would never play a down in the NFL. But he was such a great player I couldn’t help it, so he took up some ink.