From the gridiron to the diamond, UAB’s Thomas Johnston makes impact on baseball team

Updated: Mar. 10, 2021 at 6:16 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - From making hits on the football field to making hits on the baseball field, UAB’s Thomas Johnston is making a name for himself in two sports.

Football is a sport Thomas Johnston has always been good at, but baseball has always been his passion.

“I grew up playing baseball, truly it was my first love,” Johnston said.

Johnston, who was drafted out of high school, decided to follow his brother, Tyler, who is now UAB’s quarterback, to play football for the Blazers.

“My parents and I met with a couple of scouts, but it wasn’t enough to pull me away from football, I came here to compete and win championships,” said Thomas.

Thomas spent the past four years playing football under Coach Bill Clark. This past season, he went through fall camp and even played in the Blazers’ first game against South Alabama before realizing he missed baseball too much.

“My body took a beating in football with concussions laying me back, so I decided why not go out there and see what you can do,” said Thomas.

Four years without touching a bat, Johnston tried out for the baseball team and found himself on the roster.

“He hopped right in and competed, and he made contact and the swing was good, I walked away from there and was like man, he has a chance,” said UAB baseball coach Perry Roth.

Johnston is now the second-best hitter on the team, and is inspiring not only his teammates, but also his biggest supporter, his brother.

“Thomas never stopped believing and that’s what I’m going to take away. I know from injuries for me, that’s what we got taught from our family, just to keep working towards your dreams and goals. I’m proud of him,” said Tyler Johnston.

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