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Russell Wilson provides veteran leadership in a young Yankees clubhouse

Can Wilson’s leadership on the gridiron successfully transition to a major league baseball team?

Russell Wilson is one of the most polarizing figures in sports. Many called him too short to succeed as an NFL quarterback. Some question his authenticity and leadership in a volatile Seahawks locker room. His goofy demeanor and overly positive attitude rub some people the wrong way. If NFL quarterbacks were TV sitcoms, Wilson would be Leave It To Beaver.

Regardless of how people feel about Russell Wilson, there is no denying his athletic ability. He is a Super Bowl Champion, with a pedigree of success that few people his age have. He has overcome all doubts to become a perennial Pro Bowl quarterback. Wilson has also turned the Seattle Seahawks into a Super Bowl threat almost every year.

When the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers agreed to Wilson trade for future considerations, the Bronx Bombers weren’t planning on adding another bat to their already potent lineup. Wilson himself said that he does not plan on trying to become a two-sport athlete. He has stated however his love for the Yankees since he was a child. The match made perfect sense.

As per, Brian Cashman has had his eye on trading for Russell Wilson for a while:

“We’ve admired Russell’s career from afar for quite some time. This is a unique opportunity for us to learn from an extraordinary athlete who has reached the pinnacle of his profession. After talking to a number of our players, there is a genuine excitement in having Russell join us for a short time in camp. We are all looking forward to gaining insight into how he leads teammates toward a common goal, prepares on a daily basis for the rigors of his sport, and navigates the successes and failures of a season.”

There’s a reason why the Yankees wanted Wilson. With overwhelming expectations and a core group of young stars, there’s nothing better than a veteran presence being able to show them the ropes on how to handle success.  The Yankees had an unexpected taste of success last year when they came within one game of the World Series. With guys like Wilson and CC Sabathia in the clubhouse, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton can learn how to continue that success into a World Championship.

On the field, Russell Wilson didn’t make much of an impact. The Seahawks quarterback was taking batting practice with the new “Murderers’ Row”, and actually hit some balls out of the park. He had one at-bat, a pinch hit effort for Aaron Judge, and struck out on four pitches.

While Wilson may not have dazzled on the diamond, his presence could carry weight throughout the Yankees’ season. The 29-year old left camp on March 2, and was assigned to Double-A Trenton. He left the Yankees with an endless knowledge of succeeding under pressure. He even signed a football for the entire team. It was a kind gesture in what was a well-documented visit from the NFL star. Hopefully he didn’t convince Aaron Judge to join him as a tight end. Either way, Wilson has been a calming force in the whirlwind that is the locker room of the Yankees. The team can only hope his time there pays dividends during the busy regular season.

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