SALISBURY, MD. -- Tom Brown is the last person to have made the transition from major league baseball to the National Football League. He is the only person to have played in a major league baseball game and a Super Bowl. He is also, because of "maybe my naiveness about what life is really about, and also my stubborness," just beginning to recover from his inability to make the transition to a life outside of professional sports.

In a recent interview, Brown said that because of all the money being paid and offered to Kansas City Royals outfielder Bo Jackson, life will be far different than it was for him. Jackson recently announced his intention to play football for the Los Angeles Raiders as an offseason "hobby."

But Brown insists that, although Jackson may match his rare feat of playing both baseball and football at a major league level, he will not be able to continue playing both sports.

"I had a couple of bad days {playing baseball} and I said, 'I can always play football,' " said Brown, 46, a onetime Washington Senator, Green Bay Packer and Washington Redskin. "I lost that little bit of extra drive that I had. Had I not had the option to play football, I wouldn't have had in my mind that, if I was having a lousy year playing baseball, I could go play football.

"It's impossible to do both," Brown added. "{Jackson is} going to eventually have to make up his mind."

For Brown, the easiest part of life was playing sports. The hard part came when his professional career ended, when he was with the Minnesota Vikings in 1970.

"It was what happened to me after I finished playing," Brown said. "I felt that eventually something good was going to happen. And something good is happening, but it has taken 17 years."

"Baseball was always my first love and I played it all the time," said Brown, a Washington-area native who attended Montgomery Blair High School and Bullis Prep. "Football I just used, I guess, to get an education in college. I never really liked football that much."

Brown was an All-Met in football and basketball at Blair, but not in baseball. He accepted a football scholarship at the University of Maryland on the condition he be excused from spring practice so he could play baseball. In the spring of his junior year at Maryland, he was named a first-team all-America in baseball. That fall, he was an honorable mention all-America in football.

He was chosen by the Green Bay Packers in the second round of the 1963 NFL draft and by the Buffalo Bills in the third round of the American Football League draft. But he signed with the Senators for the standard rookie salary and a bonus that was reported to be between $15,000 and $20,000 (Brown now says it was $12,000; Jackson has a contract worth more than $1 million a year for both sports). Brown, then 22, hit .312 in spring training and on opening day he was Washington's starting first baseman.

"But you know," Brown added, "I really wasn't ready to play. I shouldn't have started. But, of course, you couldn't tell me I didn't deserve it . . . Baseball is a real mind game, though."

After going zero for 14 to start the season, Brown was replaced in the lineup by Dick Phillips. On June 29, batting just .100, with 31 strikeouts in his 80 at-bats, Brown, now the target of boos, was sent to Washington's AA affiliate in York, Pa.

"That first year in professional baseball was the first time I could ever remember being booed by the home fans and things like that," Brown said, "things you're not really prepared for."

He hit .228 in 77 games with York and returned to the Senators late in the season, ending up with a .147 average, with one home run. After returning from playing in a winter instructional league, Brown received a phone call from Vince Lombardi.

"I really wanted to play baseball because I still felt I could become a ballplayer," Brown recalled. "But I told Lombardi that I would make a decision around the beginning of July, when football started, and Lombardi said that was fine.

"But that was really a bad thing for me, and I can see it's going to be a bad thing for Bo Jackson," Brown said. "Because now you use {football} as a copout," Brown said. "If you have a bad day playing baseball, you say, 'I can always play football.' And that's what happened. The intensity was lacking that second year."

After batting .161 in spring training in 1964, Brown, 48 hours before opening day, was sent to York. On July 4, with his average under .200, Brown announced he was leaving baseball to play for the Green Bay Packers.

"I think if it was any other team, I probably wouldn't have gone," Brown said. "I liked baseball that much."

The Packers, of course, were not "any other team," especially the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I could see Bo Jackson not wanting to play with Tampa Bay," Brown said. "I think that had the Raiders {instead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers} drafted him, he would have played football. In football, you're only as good as the guys you're playing with. I don't care if you're the greatest player in the world. If the holes are not there, you're not going to go."

Jackson is learning what Brown learned. That baseball is harder to play than football.

"You play every day," he said. "I mean, it's a grind going out there to the ball park every day, traveling, playing a night game and going back and playing a day game. Physically, it just wears you down. And then, there's the mental part of it. If you go 0 for 10 and 0 for 15, you start to wonder, 'Oh, my God, am I ever gonna get another hit?' "

With the Packers, Brown played on teams that won the NFL championship in 1965 and Super Bowls I and II in 1967 and '68. His interception of Don Meredith's pass on fourth down and goal at Green Bay's 2-yard line with 22 seconds to play preserved a 34-27 win over the Dallas Cowboys in the 1966 NFL title game.

Brown was traded by the Packers to the Redskins before the start of the 1969 season. However, because of what became a chronic shoulder problem, he sat out all but half of the season's first game.

The Redskins released him in August of 1970 and, after being picked up by the Minnesota Vikings, he was released for the final time a month later.

"I didn't know what I was going to do," Brown said.

While he didn't want to coach, he liked working with youths. He accepted a job with the Ocean City, Md., recreation department, but he said his wife refused to leave the Washington area. A divorce followed and he later remarried. Meanwhile, he thought he had found a calling.

"I was going to help Ocean City start a sports camp {for the city}," he said.

But he quit that job in 1971, he said. For the next 11 years, while trying to attract investors in a camp, he lived in Montgomery County, selling insurance and real estate.

Over time, the $200,000-$250,000 he estimated he earned as a professional athlete disappeared. He began having trouble supporting his three children from his first marriage and the family he and his second wife were starting. He appeared frequently in court, he said, and eventually spent two weekends in the Montgomery County detention center for nonsupport.

"I turned down a lot of good opportunities because I had this stupid dream to do this thing {start a camp} and work with kids," said Brown. "I was driven with the idea that sooner or later somebody was going to build this camp for me. Turning down some jobs that would have paid the bills. There was the humiliation of the sheriff coming to arrest you."

Finally, in 1982, it appeared everything was going to come together. He had a piece of property in Germantown picked out and a potential backer.

But this hope turned out like all the rest.

"When he backed out of the deal, that was it," said Brown. "My wife, who is from the Eastern Shore, said to me, 'Come on. As long as you're in Montgomery County, you're never going to be able to work without thinking about your sports camp.' "

He moved to Salisbury in 1982.

"I guess that people think that with a background as a former athlete, 'How come you don't have a better job? What's wrong with you?' They think you're an alcoholic or a drug addict. So for the last couple of years I ended not even putting on my resume that I played professional football or profesional baseball."

Lately, however, things have begun to turn for him. He went to work as a salesman for a food distributor and founded the Rookie League, an instructional baseball program for youngsters. The league is sponsored by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni.

"It's fun and from the feedback that I've gotten I feel like I've been doing something good," Brown said.

Despite the difficult times he has had, Brown, who completed his education at the University of Maryland between professional seasons, says his only regret is that he never had the chance to sign up for a class that he calls "Real Life 101."

"{Professional sports} is an unrealistic life," Brown said. "You're gullible. You take people at their word, but you're not ready to meet the real world. And back in the '50s, '60s and '70s, when a ballplayer's career was over, he had to go out the next day and start working. It was a rude awakening."

"Still," Brown added, "there are not too many guys who could say they had the ability or the opportunity to play both professional baseball and professional football and play for Lombardi and play in the Super Bowl and on NFL championship teams. Not too many guys in the world have done that."