Russell Wilson: 'Never say never'


SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson says he's going to hang up his No. 3 blue Texas Rangers jersey (with "Wilson" on the back, of course) somewhere in his house when he gets home. But will he ever try to be a two-sport star and wear it in the major leagues someday?

"You never say never," Wilson said following a full day of activity with the Rangers at spring training in Arizona. "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 hope to be playing for a long time."

Wilson said he missed the game of baseball, which he started playing when he was 4 years old (he started swinging a bat when he was 2). Maybe that's why he wasted little time returning, at least for a day, to his baseball roots.

The former infielder got his day started early Monday. He was in the clubhouse by 7 a.m. for breakfast and then trotted out to the back fields for an individual infield session with manager Ron Washington. With plenty of cameras trained on his every move, Wilson went through the session as Washington, known as one of the top infielder instructors in the game, showed him a few pointers and worked on improving his hands and feet.

Wilson made the manager a believer.

"If he continued to work and get the repetition, he could probably be as good as he is a football player," Washington said.

That's high praise from a baseball lifer.

"He surprised me for not being out on the baseball field for a while," Washington said. "I might have burned his legs up a little bit, but he made it through all the drills and did a fantastic job. He's got tremendous aptitude. That's why he is who he is. You give him something, and he knows how to apply it."

For the Rangers, the club's 24 hours with Wilson were about having his knowledge, commitment, focus and work ethic rub off on the organization's younger players. It was about having those players hear about what makes a 25-year-old, at the top of his game, successful. His schedule included talking with the team's minor leaguers Monday evening and attending a private dinner with a dozen or so big league players and Rangers personnel.

"He said he really had that self-motivation to always get better and be a great athlete and a person. I want to apply that to what I'm doing. He has the whole package. It was worth hearing," said outfielder Michael Choice, one year younger than Wilson and one of the club's top prospects. "I want to apply that to what I'm doing. He has the whole package. It was worth hearing."

But there was something in it for Wilson, too.

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