Ex-Phillies prospect Cord Sandberg plays QB in Citrus Bowl
By Matt Rappa
Former Phillies prospect Cord Sandberg played in the Citrus Bowl as Auburn’s QB
One day before his 26th birthday, former Philadelphia Phillies outfield prospect Cord Sandberg appeared on the nationally televised Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day as quarterback for the Auburn Tigers.
Filling in for sophomore quarterback Bo Nix during one drive in the fourth quarter, Sandberg entered when the Tigers were on second down and completed an eight-yard pass. The following play, an Auburn running back fumbled the ball and lost possession. Auburn went on to lose 35-19 to the Northwestern Wildcards.
Slightly more than five years after the Phillies drafted Sandberg in the third round of the 2013 draft, he retired from professional baseball on the Fourth of July in 2018. In his tweet announcing his decision, the Bradenton, Florida, native said, “I want to thank the Phillies for allowing me to chase a dream of mine for the last six seasons, but it’s time to chase another one.”
Sandberg’s Bowl Game appearance on Friday was just his fourth career collegiate game as the Auburn quarterback. His debut on September 8, 2018, against Alabama State featured a 1-for-1 passing showing for 22 yards, while on the ground he rushed for 35 yards on three attempts.
The following September against Kent State, Sandberg rushed for four yards on one attempt. Two months later, Sandberg rushed for 31 yards on six attempts, and threw his first and second career collegiate touchdowns while totaling 84 yards on seven passing attempts.
At the time of his decision to retire from baseball, Sandberg told Bradenton.com that he felt “it was time to go to college,” “get an education,” and pursue his dream, adding:
"“… And if for some reason I never start a college football game ever, I can at 28 be like, ‘OK, I gave it all I had to both, but now I have a four-year degree and I can move on with the next part of my life.’”"
Sandberg was ranked as the Phillies’ 22nd-best prospect in 2015 by MLBPipeline.com; he ended the last season of his professional baseball career (2018) with Double-A Reading. In 54 games, Sandberg slashed just .231/.271/.314 with four doubles, three home runs, 11 RBI, nine walks and 35 strikeouts spanning 166 plate appearances.