April 22, 2010
CLEMSON, SC – Three months ago, Clemson quarterback and outfielder Kyle Parker privately told Clemson Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney that his goal for the 2009-10 academic year was a “20-20.”
He had already thrown 20 touchdown passes as the quarterback of the Clemson football team, helping the Tigers to a final top 25 ranking and the ACC Atlantic Division Championship. He wanted to match that with 20 home runs on the baseball diamond and thereby help the Tigers to an ACC baseball championship.
Research that included contacting every Division I school that plays college football over the last month, revealed that no athlete had ever achieved even a “20-15” in the same academic year, or any other year for that matter. Wednesday night, Parker hit a grand slam in the second inning of Clemson’s 22-4 victory over USC Upstate, his 15th home run of the year.
Parker currently leads the ACC in home runs with 15 and now has 41 for his three years with the 20th ranked Clemson baseball team, 10th best in Clemson history. He is hitting .372 for the season entering this weekend’s series with North Carolina with a team best 47 runs scored and a team best .752 slugging percentage to go with 40 RBIs, second best on the team.
Only two other Division I football-baseball athletes in history have recorded a “20-10,” with touchdown passes and home runs. Rodney Peete of Southern California had 21 touchdown passes in the fall of 1987, then hit 12 home runs for the Trojans baseball team in the spring of 1988. Josh Fields of Oklahoma State had 21 touchdown passes for the Cowboys in the fall of 2003, then hit 10 home runs for the baseball team in the spring of 2004. Fields is now with the Kansas City Royals.
John Elway never achieved a “20-10” at Stanford, but came close. He hit nine home runs for the Stanford baseball team in the spring of 1982, then threw 24 touchdown passes for the Stanford football team in the fall of 1982.
While the “20-15” is already an unprecedented accomplishment in Division I college sports history, Parker wants to see his original goal to its finish. “Twenty-twenty just sounds better,” said Parker.
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