The New York Yankees have acquired the rights to Russell Wilson in a trade with Texas. The Rangers have held the rights to the two-sport star since grabbing him in the 2014 Rule 5 draft.
The four-time NFL Pro Bowler is expected to appear in the Yankees’ Grapefruit League in February or March.
Wilson released this statement:
I want to personally thank the Texas Rangers and Jon Daniels for drafting me and giving me the chance to experience professional baseball again. Growing up taking grounders, hitting BP, and throwing deep post routes in football early in the mornings at 6 am with my dad and brother is where my love of sports came from and those memories stick with me every morning I wake up. During my two springs with the Rangers, I was reminded just how much I love the game. 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 be a part of a world class organization like the Texas Rangers.
The Super Bowl-winning quarterback from the Seattle Seahawks was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2007 when he was still in high school. He was drafted again by the Colorado Rockies in 2010 and played two seasons in the minors before opting to play in the NFL, where he has been since 2012.
Wilson, 29, has no plans to emulate Deion Sanders or Bo Jackson and try to reinvent himself as a two-sport athlete, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN. But he’s maintained his love for baseball and wants to continue his ties to the sport.
In 2014, Wilson said this before working out with the Rangers in Spring Training: “I’ve always had the dream of playing two sports. If somehow it was a miracle that it could work out, I’d consider it. At the same time, my focus is winning the championship with the Seattle Seahawks, and I hope to be playing for a long time.”
Exactly 24 years ago today, another pretty famous athlete traded in his sneakers for a pair of spikes.
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