Former Minor Leaguer Russell Wilson threw a stellar first pitch
Russell Wilson is no stranger to the mound at Safeco Field. The Seahawks quarterback and former second baseman in the Rockies organization threw out the first pitch before Friday night's Yankees-Mariners game, and what a pitch it was.
Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez caught the pitch, which crossed the plate at 98 MPH, according to the in-stadium radar gun (which may have been exaggerating slightly).
"I told Felix, 'I'm going to throw it,' so he was ready," Wilson said with a grin. "I had to bring the heat to Felix."
Between Wilson's experience as a closer in college at North Carolina State, and the advice of Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, Wilson had no trouble getting ready to toss the first pitch. Chancellor challenged Wilson to throw a curveball, and Wilson delivered a nasty one. Well, nasty enough to strike out Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner.
"It was a tennis ball," Wilson said. "Kam's like, 'Russell, let me see your curveball.' Struck out Brandon Browner."
Wilson also met Yankees starter CC Sabathia and Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan and took cuts off a tee in the Mariners clubhouse. "That was awesome," Wilson said. "I got to hit the ball again, hit the sweet spot. There's nothing better than that. Gotta love the crack of the bat."
No confirmation if Wilson brought his cleats to Friday's game.
-- Ryan Hueter / MLB.com Real-Time Correspondent
Photo Credit: Ben VanHouten / Mariners team photographer