ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker, who played outfield at the University of Minnesota and was drafted by MLB teams twice, hit a pair of home runs when he attended a Rockies batting practice session at the end of April.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki did not get as hands-on of an experience as he watched the Broncos practice on Wednesday morning.
“Decker spent some days with us in spring training, so I got to know him a little bit and then Peyton (Manning) was in our clubhouse so I got to spend some time with him,” Tulowitzki said. “So, being on the DL and looking for things to do while the team is on the road, this sounded like a good opportunity to come check it out and support the community and organization.”
Tulowitzki and Decker do have a few athletic accomplishments in common now – both have homered at Coors Field, and both have caught passes from Manning.
“No, not right now – I’m on the DL so I can’t do anything,” Tulowitzki said about whether he could participate in any drills. “Last year, Peyton threw a few passes and I caught for him. Nothing too serious, but that’s all the participation I can really be doing on the football field.”
Tulowitzki noticed a big difference between the practices he participates in with the Rockies and the Broncos practice he watched Wednesday morning.
“It’s different,” he said. “(Decker) came out and hung around us for spring training, but spring training for us is pretty laid back, kind of do what you want as long as you get your work in. Here it’s more precise and more demanding. The coaches are on them a little bit more – it’s different.”
While Tulowitzki has no plans to take his talents to the football field, he said that he was impressed with Decker’s showing when he has worked out and taken batting practice with the Rockies.
So which player would fare better switching sports – Decker as a baseball player or Tulowitzki as a football player?
“Decker as a baseball player, for sure,” Tulowitzki said. “I couldn’t even think of what position for myself out there on a football field. Decker is a good player, a good athlete.”
Fortunately for Denver, neither player has any plans of switching sports anytime soon.