Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton is one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the NFL. Not only does Newton have a strong arm, but he has speed to make plays with his legs. In fact, through his first two seasons in the NFL, Newton has rushed for 1,447 yards and 22 touchdowns. Because of Newton’s athleticism, he played more than just football growing up.
One of those sports was baseball.
However, that did not last long as Newton quit baseball at 14 years old. While some athletes quit one sport to focus on another, Newton stopped playing baseball for a very different reason, fear.
“I quit baseball at 14 because I was afraid of the pitches,” Newton told Carmen Thompson of ESPN The Magazine. “The kids started getting better and throwing faster, and it would’ve hurt getting hit by that ball, so I stopped playing.”
Newton added that he tried playing basketball next but stopped because he was foul prone due to his awkward size, strength and lack of coordination.
Despite being afraid of a baseball, due to starting his career as a linebacker, Newton says he was never afraid of contact while playing football.
“So when I got the opportunity to play offense, it was nothing. I wasn’t shying away from contact. If anything, I was initiating it,” he said. “I think that’s what kind of made me stand out at an early age. My mom always wondered how I could be afraid of a little baseball when I always had these huge guys chasing me. It’s a good question.”
Definitely cool to see an athlete being candid about why he quit certain sports.