The Texas Rangers spent $12,000 for a photo op.
But, as it turns out, they’re getting their money’s worth from Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks quarterback is spending a day with the Rangers, using his old baseball skills to run through some drills during Spring Training.
But he also showed up earlier than expected last night, and spoke to a group of sponsors at a team dinner.
“He talked sincerely about his faith, his family, playing both football and baseball, about graduating in three years because he promised his father he would and he talked about his struggles in baseball,” Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels said, via Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. “One of his mottos is ‘Preparation is the Separation,’ and he discussed that with our guys, how he always feels like preparation is what separates you from the competition.”
Daniels used a pick in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft to acquire Wilson’s rights, primarily so he could come talk to players.
Wilson was a so-so baseball player, but his teammates-for-a-day were impressed nonetheless.
“He talked about self-motivation and on priding himself on getting ready,” outfielder Michael Choice said. “To see a guy that age that poised and that prepared was really impressive. He is well beyond his years in terms of wisdom. Yes, I learned something, but I think he could talk to 40-year-olds and they’d learn something, too.”
Wilson went through some drills Monday morning, taking part with the second basemen. According to the report, Wilson “remained very focused on every grounder and every pivot. He smiled easily, but appeared to be totally locked in.”
That’s consistent with his football character, and the reason he’s had such success at a young age.