17 Jul

totally random

Mississippi native Norm Bass is one of the select few – roughly 70 – who have played both major league baseball and pro football. Born in Laurel in 1939 and raised in California, Bass spent parts of three seasons (1961-63) in the majors as a pitcher with the Kansas City A’s and then played defensive back in the AFL in 1964 with the Denver Broncos. But Bass did not stop there. Arthritis curtailed his ability to perform in baseball and football, so he turned to table tennis and became a prominent player on the international scene. He medaled in the 2000 Paralympics and is in the Table Tennis Hall of Fame. Bass, whose brother Dick was also a pro football player and Mississippi native, posted a 13-17 record with a 5.32 ERA in 65 MLB games. (He allowed one of Roger Maris’ 61 home runs in 1961.) In a wonderful profile on Bass in an online publication called Sports Stories, the writer says, “No athlete I can think of has had a career like Norm Bass.” A film about his life reportedly was in the works in 2020.

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