Russell Wilson to the MLB? It’s not as crazy as you think

Matthew Stallknecht '15, Staff Writer

Russell Wilson is a superstar. The man who guided the Seattle Seahawks out of mediocrity and into the Super Bowl is in many ways the embodiment of what the NFL of 2014 wants out of it’s players; he’s versatile, flashy when he needs to be, well-spoken, and humble. He is a modern superstar that will certainly be a pillar in the NFL for years to come.

For many athletes, that would be enough. But for Russell Wilson, his NFL success and stardom may only be the tip of the iceberg.

Indeed, like a man in love with two women, Wilson finds himself at a bit of an impasse at this stage of his athletic career. You see, Wilson is not only an accomplished football player, he also happens to be one hell of a baseball player as well.

Wilson was a two-sport athlete in college, playing both football and baseball, and he played each at a high-level. Wilson was drafted by the MLB’s Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft, and despite many saying he had a future in football, Wilson went off and pursued baseball.

Wilson played well in a short stint in the minor leagues, but the temptations of football would prove to be too much for Wilson to ignore. He went on to do great things in the NFL in just his first two years in the league, but his love for baseball has never waned.

That’s why Wilson’s recent flirtation with the MLB is not shocking. Wilson was acquired by the Texas Rangers on Dec. 12, 2013 as part of the Triple A-phase of the Rule 5 draft. This led to Wilson working out with the Rangers in Spring Training.

Wilson’s participation in Spring Training was understandably met with a great deal of pomp and circumstance as well as a boatload of questions from reporters. Wilson seemed to indicate that he’d be interested in pursuing baseball in the future once more in the vein of the great Bo Jackson.

Could he really do this? Could Wilson be the next big-league two-sport superstar? I genuinely think it is possible. Wilson seems to have the drive and passion to make something like this happen, and the scouts all agree that he’d make a fine second baseman in the majors.

The only real obstacle would be logistics. If he were to play both at the same time, Wilson would only be able to play baseball until September so he can honor his original commitment to the Seahawks, which would essentially be the opposite setup from the one employed by Bo Jackson, who played a full baseball season for the MLB’s Royals before joining the NFL’s Raiders in Week 7.

Wilson’s other option would be to cut his NFL career short, perhaps when he hits the age of 30, so that he can pursue the less physically demanding game of baseball for the latter half of his professional athletic career. Sacrifices would have to be made either way, but with the right amount of planning it is plausible.

All told, Russell Wilson’s versatility makes him one of the most intriguing athletes in the sports world, and his endeavors will bear watching as his career progresses.