TAMPA (CBS Sports) — Alex Smith wasn’t the only NFL quarterback to get traded this offseason, so did Russell Wilson. Of course, Wilson’s trade didn’t actually have anything to do with football, because it went down between the Rangers and the Yankees.
In a deal that happened on Feb. 7, Wilson was traded to the Yankees, which is why he was in Tampa on Monday taking batting practice with Yankees sluggers like Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez.
Wilson is set to spend the next five days at spring training with the team, and if his performance on Monday was any indication, he’s going to fit right in. During batting practice, Wilson hit six home runs, according to ESPN.com.
Here’s a look at Wilson knocking his first one out of the park.
At one point, Wilson got so hot that he hit three home runs on four pitches.
Wilson’s dad, who passed away in 2010, was a huge fan of the Yankees, so taking batting practice with the team was a big thrill for the Seahawks quarterback.
“It’s definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever done,” Wilson said, via ESPN.com. “Ever since I was a young kid I always dreamed to be a Yankee. I always watched them. My favorite player was Derek Jeter growing up, watching him, his professionalism and how he played.”
For his training camp stint, Wilson will be wearing No. 73, and there’s a good reason for that. The quarterback wanted to wear his customary No. 3, but that’s a no-no in New York because the Yankees retired the number for Babe Ruth.
“I tried to get No. 3, but I think somebody had it already,” Wilson said.
Although Wilson will be taking batting practice over the next five days, one thing he won’t do is play in any games. Despite that fact, the Seahawks quarterback doesn’t want anyone calling his spring training stint a publicity stunt.
“Some people always, for me, get confused on ‘is this just a stunt’ or whatever. They don’t know me,” Wilson said. “If you really know me, baseball’s been part of my blood. It’s been a part of who I am and where I’ve come from and what I’ve done. When you see me make plays on the football field, a lot of that’s a direct correlation to baseball.”
Wilson does have a strong history with baseball: He was originally selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 41st round (1,222nd overall) of the 2007 MLB draft. However, instead joining the Orioles, Wilson decided to head to North Carolina State, where he played both football and baseball.
That didn’t deter other MLB teams, though. In 2010, Wilson was drafted again, this time by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round (140th pick overall). Wilson hit .228 with five home runs in 315 short-season minor league at-bats during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Wilson then ended up with the Rangers after they acquired him from Colorado in the Rule-5 draft in 2013. Wilson then attended spring training with the Rangers in both 2014 and 2015 before joining the Yankees on Monday.