Bo Jackson opens up in Q&A session

Royals legend discusses Kyler Murray, breaking bats and his favorite moment from his K.C. career

January 26th, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- Former Royals legend Bo Jackson still commands an audience wherever he goes.
That magnetic quality was on full display at the Royals' FanFest event on Friday in downtown Kansas City. Jackson first entertained a group of reporters, then amused hundreds of fans during a Q&A.
Bo's Q&A session with the media went like this:
What's the message you like to give at these events?
This is strictly for the fans. The Royals were nice enough to invite me. Luckily, I wasn't busy this weekend -- that's a lie, I'm always busy. But to be honest, when you played the game, you get excited about some things. But as an ex-player, you're just happy for the young guys. They're able to pick up where we left off.
I have more fun just coming back to Kansas City and seeing some old friends and old players. I spent the morning with [former trainers] Mickey Cobb and [former writer] Dick Kaegel, and it's seeing the people behind the scenes that's exciting for me. I can always see George [Brett] or Willie [Wilson] or Frank [White] or Jamie [Quirk]. I can always see those guys. But to see the smiles of young players, that's real nice.
• Check out Bo's Twitter Q&A here
Kansas City has another star that has taken over the city, like you once did, in Pat Mahomes.
Don't take this the wrong way, but I don't watch football or baseball. Now, if you ask me who's leading at Torrey Pines right now, I could tell you that. I'm not saying that in a negative way. I just know who's going to get the ball on a certain play.
I'm a horrible spectator. I always ask people, too, like for journalists, 'Do you in your spare time want to go watch someone do an interview or [write a story]?' You would say no. So when you ask me about watching games ... now, I've heard of Patrick Mahomes. He's the quarterback of the Chiefs. From what I hear, he's done an outstanding job.
So it wouldn't do us any good to ask you about Kyler Murray?
I know he won the Heisman Trophy because I voted for him. I would not give him advice [about choosing football or baseball] because I just did what my heart told me to do.
Is it harder these days to do both sports?
Yes, 100 percent. The athletic pool is so rich and deep in talent, it's not funny. It's ridiculous how talented the kids are today. If you try to be great in both sports, you'll end up being mediocre in both, probably second string in both.
I'm not saying I was better than anyone else, but at the time I came up, the baseball team didn't look like a team going to the Super Bowl. All the baseball players today are like between 6' 3" and 6' 8" and weigh 260 pounds. They all look like linebackers. The young man from Oklahoma should just go with his heart.
The iconic photo of you with the shoulder pads and the baseball bat -- they used that idea again with Kyler Murray as part of his [Heisman] campaign. Is that a compliment to you or did it offend you?
No, it didn't offend me. I thought it was funny. Then I thought about it and I know he got drafted in the first round by the Oakland A's, and I thought I should call my lawyer and sue [Murray] and get some of his money. (Laughs)
No, I just thought it was funny. It was cute.
Do you think you should be remembered for all your great runs in football or great hits in baseball, or just because you were a two-sport guy?
Someone just asked me what my favorite moment in my sports career was. And I said it was the time I took a strike three right down the middle when I was with the Royals, and I knew it was a strike, and I turned around and cussed out the umpire just so I could get thrown out of the game. This was July 21, 1990. My daughter was born that morning, so by getting thrown out I was able to spend the day with my daughter at the hospital.
That was my favorite moment, getting kicked out of a game to be with my wife and daughter. Back in those days, you had to play. You didn't ask for days off.
Can you still break a bat on your helmet, or over your knee?
I pulled a muscle lifting a toilet seat this morning. I'm not trying to break any bats anymore.