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Wave's Moore ponders two play-for-pay avenues

[ Originally posted 07.19.03 ]

From staff and wire reports

By the time Tulane hosts East Carolina in the New Orleans Superdome on November 22, Mewelde Moore will probably have a clearer idea of which professional path — football or baseball — he will focus on in life after college.

As Moore returns to Tulane for his senior year, he is expected to continue rewriting the Green Wave's record book.  But, for now, football is playing second fiddle to minor league baseball.

Moore, who has set 23 school records and was named all-conference in three seasons as a running back for Tulane, is in his third year of playing minor league baseball with the Idaho Falls Padres, a San Diego Padres farm club.  As of July 13, he had played in four games, going 1-for-11 (.091 batting average).

"I've been thinking about having to make this decision since my freshman year in college," Moore said of choosing between playing football or chasing the baseball dream. "When the time comes, I'll make that decision. I'll know when it's right."

To many, the decision already has been made. Besides the school records he has set, which includes rushing for 3,449 yards in 35 games, he will be considered one of the top running backs in college football this upcoming season. Another season close to the past two and he certainly will be a high-round selection in next year's NFL draft.

"When you look across the country, there isn't a back that comes close to him when it comes to running and catching the football," Wave football coach Chris Scelfo said. "He is what the pros are looking for."

While Moore's football accomplishments keep growing, he has none to speak of in baseball. With the Idaho Falls Padres last summer, he started 16 games in the outfield and hit .197 in seven RBIs in 76 at-bats.

"I'd love the opportunity to play professional football. When it comes down to it, everybody knows that after college you've got to get a job. I know I'll have to work," Moore said. "A lot of people feel football's one of those things that comes natural to me, but baseball comes natural to me, too. Football is something that always seems to be there."

Even Tye Waller, director of player development for the San Diego Padres, suspects Moore's days in baseball are numbered.

"I haven't seen him play (football) in person, but the times I've seen him on TV, I think his football skills are much more advanced," Waller said. "I believe his future is much brighter in football, unless we could get him for a full season."

Moore, who reportedly received a $200,000-$250,000 signing bonus from the Padres the day before beginning class his freshman year, said the standard minor league contract is for seven years. However, Moore said his obligations to the Padres' organization end this summer.

"You look at all the things. And, for me, I feel I owe it to the San Diego Padres to give it my all," Moore said. "We'll see how things pan out. You never know what may happen as far as baseball or football."

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007

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