A version of this story was originally published on Jan. 16, 2019. Here's a look back as we approach the Super Bowl with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes facing off against the Niners.
One of the most-talked about quarterbacks in the NFL, Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs, is the son of former Mets pitcher Pat Mahomes, who you may remember from Bobby Valentine's postseason teams in 1999 and 2000.
In 2018, the young Mahomes arrived at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City wearing his father's No. 23 Mets jersey.
"Pat Mahomes was honestly one of the best guys I ever managed," Valentine told me about the elder Mahomes. "He was a pitcher, but also one of the best athletes I ever had. He could hit and run the bases, so much so I considered occasionally using him in the outfield."
Patrick Mahomes was the the No. 10 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. These days, he has the Chiefs one win away from being Super Bowl champions.
His father, who was drafted by the Twins in 1988 and debuted four years later, played 11 years in the big leagues, including the above mentioned two with the Mets.
The bulk of his career was spent pitching in the bullpen, including with the Mets, for whom he appeared in 97 games and started just two times. He made the biggest impact in 1999, when going 8-0 with a 3.68 ERA and just under 1.0 WAR pitching exclusively in relief.
In the end, Mahomes struck out 457 batters during his career, while pitching for six teams, though the Mets are the only team with whom he experienced the postseason.
The young Mahomes, whose godfather is former Mets reliever LaTroy Hawkins, was four years old in 1999, when his dad proved vital for Valentine during the 1999 NLCS against the rival Braves. Mahomes pitched three times against Bobby Cox's hated squad, giving up just one run and one hit.
Mahomes retired from MLB in 2003, at which point his soon-to-be star quarterback son was eight years old and already full of unique experiences from spending time hanging with his dad around professional baseball players.
"Baseball had been pretty much his whole life growing up, and he always played basketball, too," the elder Mahomes told USA TODAY Sports. "I was trying to keep him from playing football. But then his junior year in high school, he said he wanted to try this quarterback thing and see where it took him."
I talked with someone on field during Spring Training in 2018 who described Mahomes Sr. as the best of the all-time average pitchers. In other words, he was better than everyone that wasn't above average, but never got into that group himself, which I thought was spot-on accurate.
When all is said and done, though, his biggest impact on professional sports may not be his work pitching from six MLB bullpens. Instead, it will be raising an incredible son, who is an elite NFL quarterback.