Most sports fans were introduced to the greatness of Patrick Mahomes in 2018 when his second year in the league — and first as a starter — culminated with over 5,000 passing yards, 50 touchdowns and an MVP trophy. But for Pat Mahomes Sr., the quarterback’s dad and longtime Major League reliever, that greatness became apparent at a much earlier time. In an interview with the New York Daily News, the former pitcher said the first time he knew he had raised a talented athlete, his son was playing baseball, not football. 

“You know, I was coaching him one time and we were playing a game. We were beating the team pretty bad,” Mahomes Sr. said. “He came up to me and said, ‘Dad, I’m gonna go up here and hit left-handed the next time. I’m gonna hit left-handed and I’m also going to hit with a wooden bat.’ I said, ‘Well, we’re up, go do what you do. He hit the first pitch and he hit it over the center-field fence and I said, ‘Oh, this kid is pretty special.'”

Of course, it’s easy to point to anecdotes like this now that his son is currently the reigning MVP of the most popular sport in the United States. But the keyword in the interview is “athlete.” Not even Mahomes Sr. could have predicted his son becoming one of the NFL‘s most dynamic quarterbacks so early in his career. In fact, it wasn’t even until Patrick’s sophomore year at Texas Tech that his dad started to believe his son could go pro.

“He came in and had really good success,” Mahomes Sr. told the Daily News. “His sophomore year he took it to another level. I said, ‘Oh, he has a chance.'”

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs take on the Houston Texans in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs Sunday at 3:05 p.m. ET on CBS.