TAMPA, FLORIDA – Russell Wilson struck out in his first spring training at-bat with the New York Yankees.
The Seattle Seahawks quarterback pinch hit for AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge in the fifth inning against Atlanta on Friday and swung past a 2-2 pitch from left-hander Max Fried.
“The best thing for me is, I had no fear,” Wilson said. “I went up there with confidence. I was ready and will always remember that. And I’ll remember when they announced my name.”
Wilson received a loud ovation when introduced and fouled back the first pitch sharply to the screen.
“I used to go crazy when Derek Jeter walked up to the plate,” Wilson said. “To have that feeling and experience, I’ll never, never forget that. It always be a memory of mine, forever.”
The decision to give Wilson an at-bat was made Thursday, and the Seahawks approved. Wilson did not take the field in the sixth to play defense.
“It was cool to see,” said Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
A former minor league infielder, Wilson is spending this week working out with the Yankees, who acquired him from Texas last month and wanted to observe his leadership skills. He wants to soak up the attitude of a franchise with a record 27 World Series titles.
The 29-year-old Wilson led the Seahawks to the 2014 Super Bowl championship.
Masahiro Tanaka was not worried after not getting through the second inning of his first start.
“Mistakes on my part,” Tanaka said through a translator. He allowed four runs and four hits in 1⅓ innings.