A one-term U.S. president enjoys more time on the job than the average professional ballplayer, according to The Princeton Review, which puts the average life expectancy of a major league career at a paltry 2.7 years.That may explain why so many purveyors of America’s national pastime swing for the fences beyond the ballpark, forging fascinating careers while playing and after retiring. Here are some of our favorite moonlighting ballplayers.
Player: Bernie Williams
Team: New York Yankees
Years Active: 1991-2006
What He’s Up to Now: Williams released his first album, The Journey Within, in 2003, blending jazz, classical, pop and Latin influences. His 2009 follow-up, Moving Forward, featured collaborations with Bruce Springsteen and Jon Secada and was nominated for a Latin Grammy. Williams is now working on a third album.
Player: Jeff Kent
Teams: New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers (among others)
Years Active: 1992-2008
What He’s Up to Now: Last year, Kent expressed his deepest Darwinian impulses on the 25th season of Survivor, placing 10th on the Philippines-set adventure show.
Player: Tug McGraw
Teams: New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies
Years Active: 1965-1984
What He’s Up to Now: Father to country superstar Tim McGraw, Tug died in 2004, but he spent a couple of years co-writing (with Michael Witte) the nationally syndicated comic strip Scroogie, about a ne’er-do-well relief pitcher on a major league team called the Pets.
Player: Kenny Lofton
Team: Cleveland Indians (among others)
Years Active: 1991-2007
What He’s Up to Now: Lofton — who has a degree in film and TV from the University of Arizona — launched a production company in 2004, developing both scripted and reality television programs. He’s also an avid golfer.
Player: Nick Swisher
Teams: Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians
Years Active: 2004-present
What He’s Up to Now: In 2011, Swisher released two albums, Outburst of Life (rock/alternative) and Believe (a children’s album benefiting charity). Believe peaked at No. 3 on the iTunes Top 10 Children’s Albums chart and features classic rock covers of “Lean on Me” and “With a Little Help From My Friends.”