Texas Rangers: Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson to throw first pitch

April, 1, 2014
Apr 1
1:47
PM CT
Russell WilsonMark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY SportsSeahawks quarterback Russell Wilson made an appearance at Rangers spring training in Arizona.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Texas Rangers game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday in Arlington.

Wilson made an appearance at Rangers spring training in Arizona on March 3, working out with the club, speaking to players and donning a uniform for the Rangers' game with Cleveland.

Wilson, who helped lead the Seahawks to victory in Super Bowl XLVIII in February, was selected by Texas from the Colorado Rockies in the Rule 5 draft in December. An infielder, Wilson played two seasons in the Rockies minor league system in 2010-11.

Russell Wilson's Rangers jersey a hot seller

March, 7, 2014
Mar 7
3:16
PM CT
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s impact at Texas Rangers spring training is still being felt in the merchandising industry even though he left camp Monday evening after a one-day stay.

Wilson’s No. 3 Rangers replica jersey and Rangers T-shirt with his name and number on it are among the top-5 MLB sales for players in the last week, according to Fanatics.com, the largest online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise.

Russell Wilson
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY SportsThe Rangers quickly sold out of their original allotment of Russell Wilson merchandise.
The Rangers sold the items starting Sunday in Surprise Stadium in Arizona and Monday at retail stores in Dallas, Fort Worth and at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The club quickly sold out of its original allotment -- 500 units -- in all locations and has placed re-orders.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” said Rob Matwick, Rangers’ executive VP of business operations. “It may not sound like 500 is a lot of product, but for a guy that was in camp one day, that’s impressive.”

Wilson spent Monday with the Rangers, participating in workouts and watching the Cactus League game in the dugout wearing his blue Rangers jersey.

Fanatics.com’s numbers showed that Wilson’s T-shirt alone (not the jersey, but the shirt was his name and number on it) was one of the top-selling MLB items overall Tuesday and Wednesday. Interestingly, Fanatics.com said its internal numbers show that Seattle was the top-selling market for MLB gear this week.

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Was the Russell Wilson visit worth it?

March, 4, 2014
Mar 4
7:30
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Now that the media throng has departed in search of another story to cover, some of you have emailed and tweeted wondering if Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson's visit was worth it.

That question, of course, has two sides. Was it worth it to Wilson? Was it worth it to the Texas Rangers?

The answer to both, in my opinion, is yes. Let me explain:

First, there's no question the Rangers got publicity out of the deal. They paid $12,000 to draft Wilson, and the amount of media coverage from stories to photos to B-roll of Wilson wearing a Rangers jersey was priceless.

But that's not how the club got a huge return on its investment. This was no publicity stunt.

Talk to the Rangers’ front office and players and it's clear Wilson wasn't here to smile at the cameras and drum up some free press for Texas. He was treated as one of the guys and, in return, acted like one.

Wilson was not seeking out the star players or the big names he's seen on television. His first lengthy interaction at the ballpark on Monday was with two players who, frankly, are extreme long shots to make this roster. (You can read more about that here). But for those two young players, it was 10 minutes of knowledge they admit they'll apply to what they're doing in preparing for workouts and games.

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Russell Wilson shares drive to succeed

March, 3, 2014
Mar 3
1:23
PM CT
Russell WilsonMark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY SportsRussell Wilson was greeted by fans, a few with signs thanking him for the Seahawks' Super Bowl win.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Nate Adcock, a 26-year-old non-roster right-handed pitcher considered a long shot to make the Texas Rangers this spring, was eating breakfast in the clubhouse when Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson asked if he could join him.

For 10 or 15 minutes, Adcock and 25-year-old catcher Brett Nicholas, invited to big league camp after a solid Double-A season, peppered Wilson with questions.

“We just wanted to be a sponge and soak it all in,” Adcock said. “He was telling us about his day and that he gets in at 5:45 in the morning and doesn’t leave until 7 [p.m.]. He puts in a lot of hard work and a lot of hours.

[+] EnlargeRussell Wilson
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY SportsRussell Wilson joined Rangers manager Ron Washington for the skipper's daily infield practice.
“If a championship-caliber quarterback, and one our age, puts that kind of work in, you probably need to do the same thing. I’m not saying I don’t work hard, but there’s always more you can do.”

That’s the reason the Rangers selected Wilson in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft in December. They paid $12,000 to grab him from the Colorado Rockies.

The investment was for days like Monday.

After breakfast, Wilson stretched his arm and joined manager Ron Washington for the daily extra infield practice. Tucked back on a half-field, with plenty of cameras clicking, Wilson listened intently as Washington put him through a variety of individual infield drills.

“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.”

Wilson stretched with the team, chatting with regulars Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar. He then took grounders with the rest of the infielders as part of the team fundamental drills. Several hundred fans, many of them dressed in Seahawks colors and a few of them with handmade signs thanking him for the Super Bowl victory, cheered as he scooped up balls and practiced flips to second base to start double plays and throws to first to finish them. Wilson watched as some of the club’s players in the lineup for today’s game took batting practice.

He’s expected to be in uniform and watch from the dugout during the club’s Cactus League game with the Cleveland Indians and then talk to the media. He’ll also spend some time with some of the club’s minor leaguers and then will eat a private dinner with some of the team’s core players.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
10 3.06 182 144
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 17
RBIA. Beltre 68
RA. Beltre 68
OPSA. Beltre .877
ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182