By Ken Reed

The newest inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York are Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer and Todd Helton. Besides being outstanding baseball players, they have one other thing in common: they were all terrific multi-sport athletes growing up.

Beltre’s best sports were tennis and basketball as a youth in the Dominican Republic. Joe Mauer, in addition to being the overall #1 draft pick in Major League Baseball in the 2001 draft, was the Gatorade National Player of the Year in football while in high school. He also was an All-State basketball player in the state of Minnesota. Todd Helton was the starting quarterback at the University of Tennessee, right before a guy named Peyton Manning took over.

All three Hall of Famers said playing multiple sports growing up helped them develop the athleticism to become great baseball players.

Playing multiple sports develops different muscles, increases flexibility and enhances movement, all of which are helpful as athletes progress in any sport. Multi-sport athletes also have fewer overuse injuries.

Parents who expose their children to multiple sports and other physical activities at a young age are helping their young athletes figure out where their talents and passions are and what the best sports fit might be for them.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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