Many players grow up playing multiple sports. It seems to be pretty well known that Tom Brady and Russell Wilson both have connections to professional baseball in addition to the NFL. Some of their teammates have other connections to America’s pastime that are worth looking at as well.
Before he became known as the Seahawks’ QB, Wilson spent time playing in the MiLB. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of high school in 2007 but elected to go to school at North Carolina State. Wilson spent several seasons playing for the NC State baseball team as well as a summer collegiate team called the Gastonia Grizzlies, he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2010. He reported for spring training in 2011 and was assigned to the Tri-City Dust Devils, the Rockies’ Class A Short Season affiliate. The next season, he was promoted to the Class A Asheville Tourists. The following season, Wilson decided to enter the NFL draft instead of continuing his baseball career and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2012. In a surprising move, the Texas Rangers picked Wilson up during the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft from the Rockies. Wilson has never played in the Rangers organization but did work out and participate with the team in 2014 during spring training. The Rangers still have Wilson listed on their Triple-A roster as a member of the Round Rock Express.
Cliff Avril and Jermaine Kearse
While Avril and Kearse don’t have long list of baseball credentials on their resumes like Wilson, the pair did play in the United Way All-Star Softball Classic at Safeco Field this past June. According to Seahawks contributor Matt Gaschk, the duo weren’t half bad.
Another Seahawks charity softball game took place at Safeco Field in 2014. This time, it was Sherman hosting a game for his foundation. Teammates Michael Bennett, Doug Baldwin, and Earl Thomas took part in the game which had other superstars participate including Kobe Bryant. You can read more about that event on ESPN here.
The Seahawks tight end was a three-sport athlete splitting time between football, baseball, and hockey. Willson even signed a free-agent deal with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011 but decided to pursue football. You can read more on the Seahawks website here.
New England Patriots:
Brady was drafted out of high school by the Montreal Expos in 1995. However, he decided to go after football instead. Big League Stew writer David Brown wrote this piece on Brady in 2012. Another fun fact? Brady’s brother-in-law is MLB vet Kevin Youkilis who married Julie Brady in 2012.
Edelman is friends with J.P. Arencibia and had the opportunity to take batting practice with the Toronto Blue Jays a few years back. This article written in the summer of 2012 states he apparently impressed their coaching staff with his abilities. You can even see his swing for yourself. Edelman posted an Instagram video hitting bombs last March.
Believe it or not, Gostkowski was a star pitcher out of high school earning a scholarship to play baseball at Memphis. Arm injuries kept him from his full potential but he turned to football and now he’s in the Super Bowl. The Hartford Courant has a cool piece about him here.
And with both teams pitted against each other, it will be fun to see which dual athletes are victorious this year.