Russell Wilson plans to take part in a few days of spring training for the Yankees this year after being traded by the Rangers Wednesday.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has no plans to give up football.
But he does have plans to at least put on a New York Yankees uniform for a day this spring, fulfilling a childhood dream of being a member of one of the most famous organizations in sports, after having been traded on Wednesday by the Texas Rangers, who continued to own his baseball rights.
The Rangers officially announced that Wilson had been dealt to the Yankees for “future considerations.”
Wilson also announced the trade via Twitter, writing “Always said we’d be a Yankee Pops!” a reference to his late father, Harrison Wilson III, who died in 2010.
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The Rangers acquired Wilson in the Rule 5 draft in 2013, for which he was eligible after having played two summers in the Colorado Rockies’ organization in 2010 and 2011.
Wilson said in a statement that he will “embrace” the opportunity to put on a Yankee uniform even if just for a day — he is expected to make an appearance sometime in March at Yankees’ spring training. The team trains in Tampa, Fla.
“I want to personally thank the Texas Rangers for giving me the chance to experience professional baseball again,” Wilson said. “Growing up taking grounders, hitting BP, and throwing deep post routes early in the mornings with my dad and brother is where my love of sports came from, and those memories stick with me every morning I wake up. I remember how excited I was when Texas selected me in the Rule 5 Draft in December 2013. During my two springs in Arizona with the Rangers, I was reminded just how much I love the game of baseball.
“While football is my passion and my livelihood, baseball remains a huge part of where I came from and who I am today. I’ve learned so much on the baseball field that translates to my game physically and mentally playing quarterback in the NFL. I thank the Rangers and their great fans for making me feel at home and a part of the family! While I embrace the chance to be a New York Yankee, I will forever be grateful to have been a part of a world class organization like the Texas Rangers.”
Wilson, drafted in the fourth round by the Rockies in 2010, hit .229 in a combined 315 at-bats playing for the Class A Tri-City Dust Devils in Pasco in 2010 and then the Class A Asheville Tourists in 2011, with five home runs and 26 runs batted in. He played all 86 games at second base.
A two-sport star throughout his high school days, Wilson also had been drafted in the 41st round by the Orioles in 2007 before deciding to go to North Carolina State to play football and baseball. He hit batting .282 with five home runs and 30 RBI in 106 games for NC State from 2008-10. It was uncertainty over Wilson’s professional baseball career that helped lead to the decision of then-NC State football coach Tom O’Brien to name Mike Glennon as the team’s starting QB in 2011 — Wilson’s senior year — which led to Wilson’s transfer to Wisconsin for his final season of college football.
He had one-day appearances at spring training with the Rangers in 2014 and 2015, the latter year hitting a home run in batting practice.
Wilson turns 30 next November and has a contract with the Seahawks that runs through the 2019 season.