Did Danny Ainge Play Baseball?

Did Danny Ainge play baseball? The answer may surprise you. Ainge was actually a pretty good ballplayer in his day, and even played in the Major Leagues for a short time.

Danny Ainge’s Baseball Career

Danny Ainge was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1977 MLB draft. Ainge played baseball for three years in the minor leagues before being traded to the Seattle Mariners in 1980. After one season with the Mariners, Ainge retired from baseball to pursue a career in basketball.

High School

Danny Ainge was a three-sport star at North Eugene High School in Oregon, lettering in basketball, baseball, and football. He played quarterback and safety in football, guard on the basketball team, and pitched and played shortstop in baseball. As a senior in 1977, he was selected as a First Team All-American baseball player by the American Baseball Coaches Association. He also won Oregon’s Gatorade Player of the Year award in basketball.

Brigham Young University

Ainge was recruited by BYU Cougars baseball coach Gary Pullins. He served a two-year LDS mission in Australia and New Zealand after high school before enrolling at BYU. At Brigham Young University, he was one of the top collegiate baseball players in the country. He played shortstop for three years and batted.377 as a sophomore, leading the Cougars to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA baseball tournament in 1981. Ainge was selected as a first-team All-American.

Toronto Blue Jays

Danny Ainge played baseball and basketball for the Toronto Blue Jays before he was traded to the Boston Celtics.

Why Danny Ainge Quit Baseball

Danny Ainge played baseball for four years in the Major Leagues. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1992 MLB draft. Ainge played for the Blue Jays for two years before being traded to the Oakland Athletics in 1995. He played for the A’s for one year before being traded back to the Blue Jays in 1996. Ainge played his final season of baseball with the Baltimore Orioles in 1998. He retired from baseball at the age of 30.


Injuries played a big role in Danny Ainge’s decision to quit baseball. Ainge had shoulder surgery in 1976, and while he was able to come back and play a few more seasons, he was never the same player. Ainge had another surgery in 1980, and after that, he decided to retire from baseball.


Danny Ainge has always been a family man. When his wife Michelle was pregnant with their first child, the couple knew that something had to change. Ainge was playing baseball in the minor leagues and wasn’t making enough money to support a family. He decided to quit baseball and go back to school. It was a decision that would change his life forever.

Ainge went back to school and got his degree in business. He then started working in the front office of the Boston Celtics. He quickly rose through the ranks and became one of the most respected executives in the NBA. He has won two NBA championships with the Celtics and is considered one of the best basketball minds in the world.

Ainge’s decision to quit baseball and go back to school changed his life forever. He is now a successful businessman and one of the most respected executives in the NBA.

Focus on Basketball

Danny Ainge had a successful 14-year career in Major League Baseball, but he ultimately decided to focus on basketball.

Ainge was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1977, and he made his MLB debut with the team in 1979. He played for the Blue Jays until 1981, when he was traded to the Montreal Expos. He then bounced around to a few different teams before landing with the Boston Red Sox in 1992. He became a key player for the Sox, helping them win the World Series in 2004.

Ainge retired from baseball in 1995, but he didn’t do so because he wasn’t good at it anymore. In fact, he was still playing at a high level when he decided to focus on basketball instead. So why did Danny Ainge quit baseball?

There are a few reasons why Ainge may have decided to focus on basketball instead of baseball. First, he had already carved out a successful career in basketball before he ever played a single game of professional baseball. Ainge was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1981, and he won two NBA championships with the team in 1984 and 1986.

Second, Ainge’s father had been a successful college basketball coach, so perhaps Danny always saw himself as more of a hoops guy than a baseball guy. And third, Ainge simply may have felt like he needed a change of pace after 14 years in baseball. Whatever the reasons may have been, Danny Ainge is now known primarily as an NBA executive rather than an MLB player.

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