ARLINGTON, Texas — Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson can throw strikes, as well as touchdowns.
“Yeah, I’m used to throwing a baseball, used to throwing a football,” Wilson said after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a Texas Rangers game Wednesday night. “Good thing it’s a strike.”
Texas selected Wilson from the Colorado Rockies in the Triple-A portion of baseball’s December draft at the winter meetings. That was during the Seattle Seahawks season, and he got a call from Rangers general manager Jon Daniels at about 6:15 a.m. one day before going to a workout.
Wilson spent a day at spring training in Arizona with the Rangers last month, going through workouts before being in the dugout during a game.
He made his first appearance at the Rangers’ home ballpark by throwing out the first pitch before the series finale against Philadelphia. He went to the mound and threw a hard strike caught by Rangers third base coach Gary Pettis.
“The whole experience has been great for me,” Wilson said. “Obviously they want me to part of this organization — if I ever play baseball again or not, if I do the two-sport thing or not, or if I’m just part of the organization.”
When the 25-year-old Wilson appeared on the top step of the Rangers dugout, fans in Seattle football apparel started doing a Seahawks chant.
After playing football and baseball at North Carolina State, Wilson then played professional baseball. In 93 games over parts of the 2010 and 2011 seasons in Colorado’s organization, none above the Class A level, the second baseman hit .229 with five homers.
He then transferred to Wisconsin to play football, and made it to the NFL with the Seahawks. He finished his second NFL season in February with a 43-8 victory over Denver in the Super Bowl.
Wilson also plans to be in North Texas this weekend when Wisconsin plays in the NCAA Final Four at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium a block away from the Rangers’ home.
“I’m so pumped for Wisconsin,” he said. “I picked them to win the whole thing.”