Back in early December, the Texas Rangers decided to use their pick in Major League Baseball's "Rule 5" draft to select Russell Wilson. They paid the Baltimore Orioles—the team that drafted Wilson in 2007 before he started his college football career—$12,000 in exchange for the rights to Wilson. And they were ecstatic to be able to do it. Forget that Wilson will never play baseball again now that he's a key member of the Seattle Seahawks. The press that they received after picking Wilson in the "Rule 5" draft was worth the price of picking him.
The Rangers aren't the only ones using Wilson's sudden popularity to their advantage when it comes to baseball, either. Yesterday, the trading card company Topps released an image of a Photoshopped trading card featuring Wilson in a Rangers uniform. It's an actual card that they are going to release on April 30 as part of the Topps' Bowman series.
"There are two reasons we decided to put him in," Topps marketing manager Marc Stephens revealed yesterday. "First, he switched teams. Plus, for the same reason the Rangers picked him up, he's an exciting story, a big story. As soon as he switched teams, we wanted a prospect card of him. It seemed like a good idea considering the success he's had. We wanted to showcase a dual-sport athlete."
That's all well and good. But isn't it a little weird to see Wilson on the front of a baseball card even though he doesn't actually play the sport anymore? Yes, yes, it is. We imagine that that won't stop collectors from flocking to this card, though. Because if Wilson ends up having a memorable career with the Seahawks, this card could be worth a lot of money sometime in the future.
[via Eye on Baseball]