Before Russell Wilson became one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks, he had a pretty stellar career on the baseball diamond. If you’d ask the 32-year-old Seattle Seahawks quarterback, he’d actually say baseball was his best sport.
On Wednesday, while appearing on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take, Wilson explained why baseball, not football, was his first passion.
“Baseball was actually my love,” Wilson said. “I played that since I was young. That was probably the sport—was probably one of my best sports.”
Before Wilson was a third-round selection by the Seahawks in the 2012 NFL Draft, he was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 41st round in the 2007 MLB Draft out of high school.
Wilson elected not to play professionally at that time, instead deciding to attend NC State to play football and baseball. Years later, he was drafted in the fourth round by the Colorado Rockies in 2010.
Wilson manned second base for two seasons in the Rockies Minor League System, playing two seasons of ball for a total of 93 games before going to the University of Wisconsin to finish his collegiate football career. The Texas Rangers then selected Wilson in the Rule 5 Draft in December 2013, where Wilson made appearances in the Cactus League in Surprise, Arizona in back-to-back years.
In Feb. 2018, Wilson was acquired by the New York Yankees and assigned to the Double-A-Trenton roster. Wilson got an at-bat for the Yankees in 2019 Spring Training, striking out against Braves’ Max Fried.
The Yankees still hold Wilson’s MLB rights, but playing both sports at once simply isn’t feasible for the Seahawks star. But despite not playing baseball for years, Wilson says he’s better than another former football star: Tim Tebow.
"I'm gonna go with me," Wilson said when asked if he's better than Tebow. "I can turn a mean double play, Tim. I haven't see him play, though, but I think that if I had really focused on baseball...I was going to be a top pick out of high school and I ended up turning it down...I still got drafted late...but I always feel like baseball is actually my best sport."
It’s hard to compare the two dual-sport athletes, as Tebow plays left field for the New York Mets and Wilson was a second baseman. Still, it’s worth noting, Wilson does have the edge when it comes to football.
He’s a Super Bowl champion, NFL Rookie of the Year and seven-time Pro Bowler who has thrown for 259 touchdowns for 4,213 yards and just 79 interceptions throughout his illustrious nine-year career. Wilson will certainly have a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton when he hangs up his football cleats for good.