RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson couldn’t figure out who in the world was calling him at 6:15 Thursday morning.
“I’m on my way to work and get this call,” he said. “I see it’s from Arlington, Texas. I think, ‘Who’s calling me?’
“I pick up and it’s Jon Daniels, the GM for the Rangers. He told me they drafted me. I had no idea I was even eligible for that.”
The Texas Rangers selected Wilson in the Rule 5 draft. Officially, Wilson still was the baseball property of the Colorado Rockies, but the Rangers claimed Wilson for the small sum of $12,000.
“It’s a pretty cool thing,’’ Wilson said. “That’s my third time being drafted in baseball. It’s a blessing, but obviously, my focus is on football, and Mr. Daniels knew that.”
Daniels also knows he just generated 10 times that amount, or much more, in publicity by picking the rising star in the NFL. He also knows he just acquired a high-character individual who can act as a motivational speaker to his younger players.
“I’m sure I’ll go down there [to Surprise, Ariz.] for spring training and just talk to some of their players and hang out some,” Wilson said. “It’ll be kinda cool, but that’s down the road. I’m trying to win a game [against the New York Giants] this week.”
Have no fear, Seahawks fans. Wilson, who played second base in the Rockies' minor league system, isn’t quitting his day job.
“I love baseball," Wilson said. “It’s a relaxing sport and I’ve played it my whole life. But football is where my first love is.
“There’s nothing better than playing quarterback in front of thousands of people and it being third-and-6 and the game on the line and having to make a play. That’s why I decided to play football. I love those moments in big games.”
Wilson was asked Thursday if someday he might go “Bo Jackson” and attempt to play both sports at the highest level.
“I’ve thought about it before,” he said. “I’m not gonna lie, but I’m just focused on football. The last time I picked up a baseball bat was when I won the home run derby here [in training camp].”
Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman was asked what he thought about the Rangers selecting his quarterback.
“I think they got a good pickup, a strong-arm guy,” Sherman said smiling. “It’s awesome and fantastic publicity for [the Seahawks]. I’ve never seen him play baseball, but I did see him play softball, and he’s a ringer.”
Speaking of baseball in Seattle, Wilson also said he was thrilled about the Mariners signing second baseman Robinson Cano.
"Playing second base, he’s a guy I always looked up to,” Wilson said. “It’s a great move for the Mariners.”