How Patrick Mahomes Went From Promising Baseball Star to NFL Prodigy


| LAST UPDATE 02/15/2023

By Zuzanna Krause

He might have begun his career as a baseball star, but Patrick Mahomes knew deep down he was destined to play football. And since he joined the league, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback has taken the NFL community by storm...

Meet Patrick Lavon Mahomes II

The football star Patrick Mahomes has quite literally taken over the football community since he was drafted in 2017. He may only be 27, but Mahomes has already hit heights no one could have ever imagined.

Patrick Mahomes Kansas City ChiefsPatrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs
Instagram via @patrickmahomes

Born in Tyler, Texas, Patrick Mahomes grew up a multi-athlete with big dreams that he would one day play for the NFL. After years of hard work, practice, and perseverance, he finally made it to the big leagues, and he's been crushing it ever since. But where did it all begin?

An Athlete at Heart

Mahomes has the athletic gene in his DNA. His father is the former Major League Baseball pitcher Pat Mahomes, so from an early age, sports were a major part of his life. Although he grew up with his mom, brother and sister in Texas after his parents split when he was 6, he knew he was destined for the field.

Patrick Mahomes NFL KC ChiefsPatrick Mahomes NFL KC Chiefs
Instagram via @patrickmahomes

Growing up, he was a multi-sport athlete, showing great potential in any sport he put his mind to. At a young age, he began playing baseball like his pops, and according to ESPN's Seth Wickersham, he was so talented in tee-ball that he was traded! The young Mahomes was moved up to play pitch coach!

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Too Cool for School

It was definitely a rare case to see such a young kid moving up the tee-ball ladder so quickly, but there was something special about Patrick. He ended up outgrowing the standard venues where kids played sports and needed to be pushed harder to show his proper potential.

Patrick Mahomes Young NFL CareerPatrick Mahomes Young NFL Career
Instagram via @patrickmahomes

The Ringer's Kevin Clark later reported that Mahomes' arm was just too strong for the typical backyard catches with his dad, and at 10 years old, he could throw over center field from home plate on a baseball field - around 200-220 feet. Something was brewing, and no one had any idea at the time…

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High School Prodigy

By the time high school came around, Mahomes was playing both football and baseball during the year. He and the rest of his family were convinced his career would end in baseball, but there was something inside of him that was pulling him towards football.

Patrick Mahomes MLB BaseballPatrick Mahomes MLB Baseball
Instagram via @patrickmahomes

Although he was excelling in baseball, he was also showing great potential in football. As the starting quarterback for his high school team, he even won a competition over his good friend with his impressive arm and ability to improvise on the field.

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Baseball vs. Football

Although he clearly excelled in football, he wasn't being heavily scouted for playing at the college level. Mahomes got a late start to the game compared to other athletes and never participated in football camps and other standards that future NFL players partake in growing up.

Patrick Mahomes Texas Tech CareerPatrick Mahomes Texas Tech Career
Kevin Sabitus via Getty Images

However, his raw talents led him to a 50-touchdown season in his senior year, making him a hard-to-miss candidate. He knew in his heart that football was what he wanted, so he turned down all chances to play baseball. He even made up a ridiculous bonus number ($2.5 million) to dissuade baseball teams from offering him a spot.

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Texas Tech

Mahomes ended up turning down all his chances to play baseball, and well, it paid off. He ended up attending Texas Tech, where he first played both baseball and football. But during his sophomore year he quit baseball and was drafted in the 37th round by the Detroit Tigers - and well, his football career was born.

Patrick Mahomes College Texas TechPatrick Mahomes College Texas Tech
Instagram via @patrickmahomes

Once football season started, the rookie player got pretty lucky when starting quarterback David Webb was injured, and he was tapped to play. Just like that, his dreams of playing football were happening, and he was getting a major shot to show his team what he could bring to the table.

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Breakout Star

Once he stepped in for Davis Webb, his career as a professional football player really began. The young Mahomes showed everyone what he could do during his sophomore season, throwing over 4,000 yards, hitting 36 touchdowns, and scoring 15 interceptions.

Patrick Mahomes Young College Football CareerPatrick Mahomes Young College Football Career
Instagram via @patrickmahomes

The following year, he just continued to thrive on the field. As a junior, Mahomes threw over 5,000 yards with a total of 41 touchdowns and ten interceptions! He even set the NCAA record with 819 yards of offense in a losing game to Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma.

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Getting Ready To Draft

During the midst of all of his success, Mahomes knew the next big step for him in his football career was to make it to the big leagues. So, after his junior year, the hopeful athlete declared for the NFL draft and was projected to be a mid-round pick for the league.

Patrick Mahomes NFL DraftPatrick Mahomes NFL Draft
Instagram via @patrickmahomes

However, his draft stock grew as time passed, and people wanted to know about Patrick Mahomes. Eventually, he was considered a first or second-round pick, and his hopes of reaching pro were getting closer. And he had his eyes set on one team and one team only.

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Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes was gearing up for the draft, but all he could think about was landing a spot with the Kansas City Chiefs. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, the Chiefs are currently considered one of the best teams in the league, but little did they know it was Mahomes who would get them there one day.

Patrick Mahomes NFL Draft ChiefsPatrick Mahomes NFL Draft Chiefs
Michael Owens via Getty Images

The Chiefs won three AFL championships back in the '60s but struggled to find success in later years despite securing some of the league's best players to date. Mahomes would later be responsible for completely transforming the team into who they are today.

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Meeting Matt Nagy

Mahomes had his eyes on the Chiefs prize, and he was going to do anything he needed to do to get him to the 2017 NFL Draft. And lucky for him, he had someone important on his side. The Kansas City's former offensive coordinator, Matt Nagy, was rooting for the young player.

Patrick Mahomes NFL Matt NagyPatrick Mahomes NFL Matt Nagy
 David Eulitt via Getty Images

Nagy began his career playing college football before joining the Arena Football League. After his playing career came to an end, he became an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles under head coach Andy Reid. Once Reid joined the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013, he followed him to become the quarterback's coach.

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Impressing Andy Reid

Nagy saw his potential and did what it took to help Mahomes get the chance he deserved. It was later revealed that Nagy's help was the reason why Mahomes ended up playing for the Chiefs. "Matt Nagy, our quarterback's coach now who was the offensive coordinator then, he really liked me," Mahomes shared on the New Heights podcast.

Patrick Mahomes NFL Andy ReidPatrick Mahomes NFL Andy Reid
Jamie Schwaberow via Getty Images

"So he gave me the plays they were going to go over the night before," he confessed. "And so, of course, I crushed the meeting. I stayed up all night studying those plays." And that's how he impressed coach Reid - who was completely unaware of the situation until it was shared on the podcast.

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Moving Up the Ladder

After he crushed the meeting with Reid, Mahomes had a feeling he was "going up in the draft." He later shared that a few teams made it clear they would draft him if he were higher up in the draft process, and Mahomes used that information as bait for the Chiefs.

Patrick Mahomes NFL Draft CareerPatrick Mahomes NFL Draft Career
Instagram via @patrickmahomes

"I kind of gave a little inside info to the Chiefs," he said. He wanted to leverage his position in the draft to make sure he would secure a spot playing for the Kansas City team. He told the Chiefs, "Hey, if you all let me go anywhere, I didn't know about the Saints spot; below 12 or below, I'm going to get drafted by someone else."

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Inside the NFL Draft

So how does the NFL draft work? The draft looks to gain the best college football players in the NFL while creating a balance across the league to prevent one team from dominating every year. The draft order is created by the season when the win percentages of all 32 teams are ranked from best to worst.

Patrick Mahomes NFL DraftPatrick Mahomes NFL Draft
 Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The team with the worst win percentage gets the first pick in the draft, and the Super Bowl champion team is awarded pick number 32. There are seven rounds, each with one pick per round, with the option of trading their high draft pick for multiple low draft picks.

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Dream Come True

After all his hard work and dedication to the sport, Mahomes finally made it to the 2017 NFL Draft day. "I had a couple of teams that said they were gonna draft me - and I mean... it's not like these coaches are making it up - I talked to them in the draft process, and they were like, 'Hey if you're there, we're gonna take you,'" he recalled.

Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs DraftPatrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs Draft
Instagram via @patrickmahomes

Sure enough, the talented young athlete was ultimately offered a spot playing for the Kansas City Chiefs after being chosen in the first round and becoming the 10th overall pick. The Chiefs had traded two first-round picks and one third-round pick to move up in the draft and secure him on their roster. And boy, was it worth it.

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Getting Noticed

However, like many first-year players, he barely saw the field. The newly minted number 15 played as a backup to Alex Smith, and it wasn't until the regular season's final game that he stepped onto the field. However, there was plenty of BTS action that showed his team his true potential.

Patrick Mahomes NFL Draft TradePatrick Mahomes NFL Draft Trade
 Kevin C. Cox via Getty Images

The Chiefs quarterback's coach, Mike Kafka, later shared that there were a couple of throws during his rookie year that hinted he was destined for greatness. "There was one where he was staring at the sideline, and he just flicked it right over Justin Houston's head. That was the big one. That was the one where other coaches started noticing."

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Time To Shine

During the offseason, the Chiefs traded Smith to play for the Washington Redskins. And just like that, it was Mahomes' time to step in. However, some concerns appeared in training camp due to the high number of interceptions he was throwing. But that changed right away when the regular season kicked off.

Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs WinPatrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs Win
Jason Hanna via Getty Images

Right off the bat, Mahomes was killing it on the field. In his first three games, he threw almost 900 years, with 13 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and a 137 passer rating. In doing so, he led his team to a 3-0 record, which translated into a 9-1 season with Mahomes throwing for 31 touchdowns!

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Standout Player

So clearly, the Kansas City Chiefs hit a gold mine drafting Mahomes. As starting quarterback, Mahomes dropped some pretty unbelievable game highlights, catching the world's attention. His throws were unlike anything anyone had ever seen before, and he worked hard to perfect them. No wonder he won MVP that year.

Patrick Mahomes Chiefs Touchdown StatsPatrick Mahomes Chiefs Touchdown Stats
Dylan Buell via Getty Images

The athlete later explained his professional throwing skills come with a whole lotta practice. "I know there's a chance I could make those throws in a game," he said, explaining that he practiced every throw he made, whether it be side arms, lefty throws, jumping throws, and more.

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All Thanks to Baseball

Not only was he voted MVP that year, but he was chosen as the fourth best player by his peers by NFL Top 100 players of 2019 and took home the best NFL player ESPY Award. He might have started his career as a baseball star, but football always had his heart. However, baseball might have turned him into the key player that he is today.

Patrick Mahomes Baseball Career StatsPatrick Mahomes Baseball Career Stats
Instagram via @patrickmahomes

According to The Ringer's Kevin Clark, Mahomes previous training in baseball helped him with his throwing skills as a quarterback. Differently than most quarterbacks, Mahomes warms up with the long toss, like baseball players do, and can casually throw 90-yard passes like it's no biggie.

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"Off The Charts"

So clearly, years of baseball training was helpful with his million-dollar throwing arm, and his teammates could feel it too. The Chief's backup quarterback, Matt Moore, told Sports Illustrated that Mahomes has a unique skill to see the entire field in ways that are out of comprehension."It's something I've never done," Moore said.

Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs Net WorthPatrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs Net Worth
 Andy Lyons via Getty Images

"When the ball leaves my hand, I'm looking at the target and making sure we hit it. The ball will literally leave his hand, and he'll just find where the other guys are. His spatial awareness is off the charts. He knows where everybody is at, at all times — with every concept and coverage. It's really amazing." Yes, it is.

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His Mentor, Tom Brady

After losing to the Patriots in the AFC Championship in 2018, Mahomes got some advice from the one and only Tom Brady. "The biggest thing he said was, 'Stay with the process and be who you are.' He didn't want me to change at all. He wanted me to go out there and take advantage of every single day," Mahomes told NBC Sports.

Tom Brady Patrick Mahomes Super BowlTom Brady Patrick Mahomes Super Bowl
Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

"When you hear it from a guy like that," he said, "you know you've got to take advantage of every single day if you want to be great. I used that to just make sure that I did everything to prepare to be in this moment now - and not be sitting at home." So, with Brady's advice in mind, the Chiefs made it all the way to the playoffs...

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"Surreal" Super Bowl

After crushing the playoffs, Mahomes got his team all the way to the Super Bowl. Trailing by ten against the San Franciso 49ers, Mahomes somehow came through at the end of the game and completed a 44-yard pass to Tyreek Hill, ultimately leading them to take home the big win.

Kansas City Chiefs Super BowlKansas City Chiefs Super Bowl
Focus on Sport via Getty Images

"I mean, it really is amazing," Mahomes told reporters following their 2020 win. "Just to be here is surreal, finding a way to win in the end with these guys I have around me. We'll enjoy this for a long time. I mean, it truly is historic to be here and to win this game." Mahomes scored two touchdowns and threw 141 yards during the game.

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Money Moves

After being named the Super Bowl MVP, the stakes were high for Mahomes follow-up season - and well, he definitely didn't disappoint. For the 2020 season, Mahomes signed a 10-year extension through 2031 worth - a whopping $477 million with $26 million in possible bonuses, equalling $503 mil, per CBS Sports.

Kansas City Chiefs Super BowlKansas City Chiefs Super Bowl
Cooper Neill via Getty Images

That was the largest contract in American professional sports history at the time, making him the first pro athlete to score a half-a-billion dollar contract. NBD. He was slaying it out on the field and getting recognized and rewarded for his insane talent.

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Knocked Out

As soon as the 2021 season kicked off, Mahomes was doing his thing and completely dominating the field - again. However, in the Divisional Round against the Cleveland Browns, the quarterback had to tap out of the game after being diagnosed with a concussion from being tackled by linebacker Mack Wilson.

Chiefs Buccaneers Super Bowl 2021Chiefs Buccaneers Super Bowl 2021
Patrick Smith via Getty Images

Luckily he wasn't out long and came back stronger than ever. Upon his return, the Chiefs beat out the Buffalo Bills, making it to their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance. Although they lost against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mahomes still played a nearly perfect game and was named the top-ranked player in the NFL by his peers.

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15 & The Mahomies

Besides being a legendary athlete in the making, Mahomes began dipping his toes into the world of philanthropy early on in his career. In 2019, he founded a nonprofit organization called the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation that focuses on "improving the lives of children."

15 And The Mahomies Foundation15 And The Mahomies Foundation
Instagram via @15andmahomies

The organization "supports initiatives that focus on health, wellness, communities in need of resources and other charitable causes," according to their website. Through his outstanding achievements, he was even dubbed as one of the most influential people of 2020 on Times 100's list.

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Business Savvy

Besides starting his very own non-profit organization, Mahomes has also gotten involved in the BTS business world as well. In 2020, he became a minority stakeholder of the Kansas City Royals ownership group and a year later joined Sporting Club, an ownership group of the Major League Soccer franchise Sporting Kansas City.

Patrick Mahomes NFL Team OwnerPatrick Mahomes NFL Team Owner
Ed Zurga via Getty Images

He even is part owner of an upcoming pro pickleball team based in Miami. Gearing away from sports, the business-savvy athlete decided to invest in a fast-food restaurant franchise in Missouri and Kansas. Now, it seems this guy can seriously do no wrong.

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Major Endorsements

After scoring the MVP title during the 2018 season, Mahomes immediately gained popularity and received a few life-changing endorsement deals. Starting with his love for ketchup, he began working with Hunt's, and suddenly he signed contracts with Oakley, State Farm, DirectTV, Essentia Water, and more.

Patrick Mahomes Adidas Endorsement SalaryPatrick Mahomes Adidas Endorsement Salary
Instagram via @patrickmahomes

The athlete even signed a deal with mega sportswear brand Adidas, where he released his own signature sneaker. The collab was called the Mahomes 1 Impact FLX. A shoe deal for any athlete is considered a huge benchmark - and to do it at only 26 is even more remarkable.

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Family Man

So he's an A-list football star, philanthropist, businessman, and husband and dad. That's right. The 27-year-old quarterback tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend, Brittany Matthews, last year in Maui - and they couldn't look any happier together!

Patrick Mahomes Wife Kids FamilyPatrick Mahomes Wife Kids Family
Instagram via @patrickmahomes

The couple has been dating for ten years, so really, she's been with him through it all. The power couple shares two children, Sterling Skye Mahomes and Patrick "Bronze" Lavon Mahomes III. A few months after welcoming Sterling into the world, Patrick told PEOPLE he feels "blessed to have a really, really good first baby."

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Win Some, Lose Some

Speaking of blessings, the quarterback continued to shine through the 2021 season. But despite his hard work on the field, the Kansas City Chiefs did not make it to the Super Bowl. Regardless, the world knew Mahomes was even hungrier to take home another championship the following season.

Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl 2023Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl 2023
David Eulit via Getty Images

And by the time the 2022 season kicked off, Mahomes was absolutely dominating the field. He was welcomed to his fifth Pro Bowl for the season and even reached 5,000 passing yards by Week 17 during their game versus the Broncos. And fast forward to today, all his hard work has officially paid off...

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Super Bowl 2023

At only 27 years old, Mahomes has made it to his third Super Bowl! This is a major success for the Chiefs, who will be entering their fifth Super Bowl with the chance to take home their third win. And it seems it's all thanks to their quarterback. After playing through an ankle sprain, the star player helped secure their slot in the championship.

patrick mahomes chiefs super bowlpatrick mahomes chiefs super bowl
Kevin C. Cox via Getty Images

Super Bowl LVII is scheduled to take place on February 12, 2023, at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Chiefs will be competing against the Philadelphia Eagles head-on to earn the winning title. Not to mention, Rihanna will be performing during the halftime show.

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Coming Full Circle

Besides a third Super Bowl around the corner, Mahomes has proved himself yet again as being one of the greatest players of all time (in the making). With a loyal fan base, a supportive team, wife and two kids, the NFL legend is just getting started.

Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs StatsPatrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs Stats
Instagram via @patrickmahomes

"I am proud," he gushed. "We came a long way… I'm happy that we're going to be on this stage… in the biggest game of them all." And who would have ever thought? He might have started his athletic career playing baseball, but at the bottom of his heart, he knew football was his destiny. Stay tuned to watch him do his thing February 12…

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