Russell Wilson is a professional quarterback, Super Bowl champion, and nanobubble sommelier. Every so often, though, he’s a professional baseball player, just for kicks. After years of showing up to Rangers camp and giving me an excuse to mention this incredibly Texas ballpark giveaway again ...
... Wilson is in Yankees camp, doing baseball things because it’s fun.
This time, though, he got an at-bat in an actual game. Against a real major-league pitcher with good stuff. And, lucky for us, there’s video that we can laugh at.
Except Russell Wilson looked like a danged baseball player:
Start with the size. Not too big. Not too bulky. It would be really weird if there were just some guy who was, like, 6’7” with raging muscles in a Yankees uniform. Can you even imagine? No, it’s better to have a modest, baseball-player-sized baseball player, just for believability’s sake.
But move on to the pre-at-bat routine, which started like this:
We got a lot of moving parts, right here. Then he finished it with this:
So we have ...
- The head-down approach to the plate
- The right-leg swipe
- The casual digging of a tiny foot trench with his back foot
- Him backing away, wasting everyone’s time like a real baseball player
- His baseball-ass sunglasses
- A nonchalant whacking of his own foot with a bat to get the dirt off
- The dirt that he intentionally put there with his foot trench and leg swipe for no reason, just like a real baseball player
- The half-swing to make sure that, yeah, his form was on point
Add it up, and he already looked like a baseball player. Then he took a swing.
STRAIGHT BACK TO THE SCREEN. Dude wanted to make Max Fried retire with that swing. It was hard and compact, and he fouled it right back. He just missed it, friends. That ball would have gone far.
After a looping curve dropped in for strike two, Wilson showed a good eye and took two balls before striking out on an inside fastball.
Did we learn how Wilson would do in the major leagues? Uh, probably not. I’m guessing .144/.201/.244 with 358 strikeouts over a full season.
Did we learn that Russell Wilson looked like a danged baseball player for a few minutes? Yes, we certainly did. I’ve golfed maybe 50 times in my life, and I’m a decent physical mimic, but there’s no way I can fool you into thinking that I know what I’m doing.
Wilson, though? Wouldn’t have guessed he wasn’t a professional baseball player. When Tim Tebow throws a baseball, it looks like he’s shot-putting a St. Bernard, but Wilson looked like he belonged, at least for five pitches.
This is all quietly leading up to Gronk getting a few innings as a sidewinding reliever, and I’m okay with that. I’m more than okay with that.