Gibson recalls being drafted by Cardinals

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson has a tie to the Cardinals, defensive coordinator Ray Horton has been busy getting his pilot's license and more inside.

--Defensive coordinator Ray Horton has spent part of the last few years getting his pilot's license. Horton is hooked on flying and spends considerable amount of his spare time on the hobby.

--Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson has a tie to the Cardinals. The football club drafted him in the seventh round in 1979. A receiver for Michigan State, Gibson had already committed to baseball and made it clear to NFL teams that he was giving up football.

Said Gibson, "St. Louis drafted me and said if I came out, they would fight my legal battle. But I was kind of a man of my word and I just decided baseball was a better career than football for me. Injury, length of career, knowing the way I played the game of football, I was either going to out-run you or (hit you). I had neck surgery because I used to use my head as a weapon.

"I was always watching NFL games and thinking, 'Why is that guy running out of bounds?' So I made the right decision. Baseball was very, very, very hard for me ... and football was very easy for me. So mentally it was very tough. But I was kind of determined to prove I made the right decision."

--That draft is one of the few of that era that turned out well for the Cardinals. They selected running back Ottis Anderson, offensive lineman Joe Bostic and receiver Roy Green. All had long, productive careers.

--The Cardinals open their offseason program on April 16. They have five preseason games for the first time since 1986. This is also the first time since 1986 that they will play in the Hall of Fame Game.


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