Russell Wilson has spent the week with the New York Yankees, doing all sorts of fun spring training stuff. He did fielding drills. He took batting practice. He watched his teammates play in spring training games. And on Friday, the Yankees gave the Seattle Seahawks quarterback the opportunity to take his experience to the next level: they let him take an at-bat in a real spring training game.
The Yankees were facing the Atlanta Braves, and Wilson came in as a pinch hitter for Aaron Judge in the fifth inning. He led off and got a roaring welcome from the Yankees home crowd as his walk-up song played.
Russell Wilson’s walk-up song: “P.Y.T.” by Michael Jackson. #themoreyouknow
— A.J. Herrmann (@AJHerrmannYES) March 2, 2018
He got into his stance to face Braves pitcher Max Fried, and Wilson looked pretty good.
The at-bat itself probably didn’t go the way Wilson wanted. He swung right through the first pitch for a strike, then a nasty curveball dropped in for strike two. In an 0-2 hole, he took the next two pitches for balls, and suddenly the count was even. Here’s how the final pitch shook out.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) March 2, 2018
A strikeout, but an admirable effort from a guy who hasn’t played a game of pro baseball since 2011.
And speaking of Russell Wilson’s last professional at-bat (Wilson was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2010 and played in their minor league system in 2010 and 2011), MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch hunted down the last player to pitch to Wilson — before Max Fried, of course. His name is Chasen Shreve, and it just so happens he’s a relief pitcher for the Yankees now.
Russell Wilson's last at-bat came against Chasen Shreve, 6/25/11. He hit into a double play.
Shreve: "I knew I faced him! That's funny. I knew he played football and knew he was leaving to play football, but I didn't know what he was going to turn into."
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 2, 2018
Wilson turned into a Super Bowl winning quarterback who still loves baseball. He might be returning to normal, non-Yankees life very soon, but it’s clear that this experience will stay with him for a very long time — even the strikeout.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – –