Let’s face the facts.
NFL quarterbacks are usually tremendous athletes who have showed potential in other sports along the way. A great example is New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who was actually drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round of the 1995 amateur draft. Needless to say Brady made the right decision by focusing on his football career. Before him such quarterbacks as Jay Schroeder and John Elway actually did play minor league baseball during their college careers and more recently, so did Super Bowl winning quarterback Russell Wilson.
When the Texas Rangers picked Wilson in the rule 5 draft this off-season, Topps was very quick to create a 2014 short-printed Bowman card for Wilson in a Rangers uniform. However, Wilson has already been on Bowman Cards as early as in 2010 as he was taking advantage of the NCAA rules that allow an athlete to be a professional in one sport while continuing his college career in another. The first guy I remember taking advantage of this was the late Brad Van Pelt who pitched for Michigan State after his rookie season with the New York Giants.
Of course, Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson are two of the most notable two-sport athletes of the last 25 years.
Wilson played two minor league seasons in A level ball and had a career batting average of .229. However, he was a good enough athlete that Topps using their Bowman “Home of the Prospects” brand name, put him in their 2010 Bowman and Bowman Chrome sets.
Today, our eBay Card of the Day is a 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks and Prospects Refractor graded BGS 10. It’s not cheap, but it’s definitely a conversation piece and if Wilson remains a major star, it’s going to be one to watch long term.
And if you miss out on that example, there are plenty of other Russell Wilson baseball cards available on eBay through this link.
Wilson indicated he’d be attending the Texas Rangers’ spring training camp in Arizona early next month but whether he has designs on being a current era Bo or Deion or is just in for visit we don’t know.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]