Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson took to the baseball diamond Monday for batting practice wearing the classic Yankees pinstripes. Wilson was traded by Texas to New York for future considerations on Feb. 7 and has joined his new club for six days of spring training in Tampa, Fla.
“It’s an honor to be here,” Wilson told the media before his first workout. “The thing I’m excited about the most is learning about the Yankees and how they’ve won 27 world championships. You think about 27 world championships and what that takes, the mentality . . . There’s an aroma around here I have to figure out and I can’t wait to learn more about it and use that for my football career as well.”
Wilson has made it no secret that NFL football and the Seattle Seahawks are his number one priority, so why all the hype? “Some people for me, get confused: ‘Is this just a stunt?’ They don’t know me,” Wilson said via the USA TODAY during his Monday press conference. “If you really know me, baseball is a part of my blood. It’s part of who I am and where I come from and what I’ve done.”
Wilson played baseball through college, spent some time in the minors and is a self-proclaimed Yankees fan. He’s found ways to translate what he’s learned from the sport into furthering his football career. “You see me make plays on the football field, a lot of that is a direct correlation to baseball,” Wilson continued. “You need to make a play in the fourth quarter, you need to be calm and come back from 21 points down and find a way to win, this is where it comes from. I want to come back to my roots.”
When his six days of baseball are over in Tampa, Wilson will likely return home and refocus his efforts on getting the Seahawks back to another championship. But for now, it’s all about the long ball.