Russell Wilson: ‘I don’t think it would be awkward’ to create rival MLB team in Portland

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 03: Russell Wilson #3 of the Texas Rangers runs through some infield drills during a work out before the game against the Cleveland Indians at Surprise Stadium on March 03, 2014 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

RENTON, Wash. – We’ve all been there.

You’re piloting a helicopter around Portland with your pop-star wife, when you notice the sold-out Timbers match below and think to yourself: “That baseball team I’m trying to buy could really catch on here!”

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson fielded a few questions after the team’s mandatory minicamp at the VMAC on Tuesday, and expanded a bit on his decision to join a group of investors working to bring a Major League Baseball team to Portland.

“I definitely think there’s a chance, without saying too much,” Wilson said. “I definitely think there’s a chance, for sure. It’s an exciting time and I’m looking forward to it.”

Wilson, who was drafted by the Colorado Rockies and is now a member of the New York Yankees organization, said owning a baseball team is a long-time goal. He was approached by his friend and business associate Craig Cheeks, a former Nike executive, about becoming part of the investment group.

“He let me know that there was an opportunity to bring a baseball team to Portland, and as soon as he told me that, I was fired up to bring a baseball team to Portland,” Wilson said. “It’s a great city. It’s a growing city. It’s a city that loves, loves sports.”

Wilson said he started flying helicopters about a year ago – it’s a chance to clear his mind and see what God created – and that a flight over Providence Park with Ciara during a Timbers match got him excited for “the energy of that city.”

Obviously Wilson is the cornerstone of a sports franchise in a city that already has a baseball team. A reporter asked if Wilson thought it would be “awkward” to create a rival MLB team in Portland.

“I don’t think it would be awkward,” Wilson said. “I love Seattle. There’s no football team in Portland, so I can’t play football in Portland. I love Seattle.  It’s always meant the world to me. I love baseball – it’s the first sport I ever played.

“In terms of the opportunity to own a baseball team, it’s one of the greatest opportunities you could have in sports business, and in terms of affecting lives and doing great things in community – the baseball community does it right and has always done it right, so I think it’s a cool opportunity.”