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Seahawks QB Wilson left lasting impression on Asheville

Posted January 31

The City of Asheville still remembers the 2011 Tourists baseball season, as the "Summer of Russell" - and for good reason. Current Seahawks quarterback left quite the impression in the four months he was there.

— The City of Asheville still remembers the 2011 Tourists baseball season, as the "Summer of Russell" - and for good reason.

“He was the greatest person I’ve ever seen come through here,” said President of the Asheville Tourists, Brian DeWine. “He would do charity appearances when we asked, he would do hospital visits when we asked, he would do speaking engagements.”

“He was a member of this community,” added Tourists play-by-play announcer, Doug Maurer.

Wilson, wearing the familiar No. 3, played in 61 games for the Tourists, a minor league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.

While his stats, particularly at the plate, were not exactly mind-blowing, his well-known work ethic and leadership, were already in full-force.

“If he did something that he didn’t like, he would stay late and fix it,” Maurer recalled.

One summer Sunday afternoon may be the perfect illustration of that. Late, in a key-game situation, Wilson failed to get a bunt down. Despite the Tourists going on to win that game, Wilson spent an additional two hours afterwards practicing nothing but bunts.

“Everyone understood his work ethic and his desire to be the best would lead him to great things, but I don’t think anyone could’ve envisioned the Super Bowl two years into his professional career,” said Tourists General Manager, Larry Hawkins.

His pigskin achievements may far outshine his days on the diamond, but the Tourists certainly haven't forgotten those four months - and neither has their fan-base as all things Russell Wilson remain in high demand, from 2011 team trading card sets to bobble-head dolls.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s because of the success he’s enjoying now, but because of the impression that he left when he was here,” Maurer said.

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  • JamesRamBond Feb 1, 9:59 a.m.

    They probably treated him better than the Red Riding Hoods when he left town...just sayin...

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Feb 1, 9:39 a.m.

    While what Wilson accomplished on the field in leadership and work ethic is impressive, his characteristics off the field are even more remarkable. Wilson is a one-in-a-million young athlete who gives far more than he takes. I believe RW will always be remembered for his contributions on and off the field. Wish there were more athletes like him.

  • Alex25 Feb 1, 8:27 a.m.

    And Russell is not a cheater...

  • T Cobb Feb 1, 7:46 a.m.

    It wasn't the .228 BA, that's for sure. I like Russell, he's a class act, & I'm glad to see him doing well in the NFL. If he wasn't going against Peyton, I'd be pulling for him.

    GO BRONCOS!

  • vt94hokies Jan 31, 8:48 p.m.

    Russell Wilson is a winner in this thing called life. He is a gifted young person that has the intellect, physical skills, and the heart of a Lion. He is so much above the learning curve in all that he displays on and off of the field. He sounds like a season veteran in his interviews.

    He has proven already that he's one of the best in the NFL after only two years. He has only just begun. I respect and admire Russell Wilson. He gives the youngsters a great role model. Absolute winner.

  • Boogalooboy Jan 31, 7:49 p.m.

    Never met the kid but followed him closely while he was at NC State and Wisconsin... He always seem to be the model NCAA and Pro Athlete... few and far between..

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