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Peete Is Drafted Again by Athletics, Wavers Slightly on Football Career

June 06, 1989|ROSS NEWHAN

Rodney Peete, former USC quarterback selected by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round of the National Football League draft, was re-drafted by baseball's Oakland Athletics Monday and said he will seriously consider a professional baseball career.

"I'm very excited," Peete said. "To be re-drafted by a great organization like Oakland's will make my decision that much tougher. I came very close to signing (with the A's) last time."

The A's selected Peete in the 14th round of the June draft in 1988, after he hit .338 and was an all-Pacific 10 infielder as a junior. Peete elected to return for his senior football season at USC but did not play baseball this spring, choosing to hone his football skills in preparation for his first NFL training camp. Monday, he was re-selected by the A's in the 13th round.

"People thought that when I didn't play baseball this year, I was ruling it out completely," he said. "But that wasn't the case. I wanted to make football work and still do. I'm still leaning toward football.

"But we haven't gotten too far in the negotiations (with the Lions), and if they wait around much longer, it will make the decision that much tougher. I was disappointed to be drafted that low to start with, and that was when my interest in baseball began to peak again."

The Lions will go to camp July 15. Peete said he hoped to decide in the next two or three weeks.

"Do I want to play quarterback in the NFL or go with an organization that has a chance to play in the World Series every year?" he said. "I don't know right now."

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