TAMPA, Fla. — No. 99 is looking forward to having No. 73 in camp this spring.
No. 73 belongs to Russell Wilson, whose empty locker at Steinbrenner Field just so happens to be a few down from Aaron Judge.
The Seahawks quarterback, who played minor-league baseball, was traded to the Yankees from the Rangers last week, and will be with the team in March.
“It’s going to be pretty cool. I’m looking forward to it,” Judge said Thursday. “Russell Wilson’s a special guy (with) what he’s done in the NFL — not only on the field but off the field — so it’s going to be cool to have him here, and maybe get a chance to talk to him and meet him.”
Judge, a high-school football standout himself, was asked if he’d like to catch passes from Wilson.
“We’ll see. I’ll have to bring my football in. I’d love to,” Judge replied.
Last season, Judge caught passes in the Yankee Stadium outfield from Matt Holliday, who was once recruited to play quarterback at Oklahoma St.
Judge played wide receiver and defensive end at Linden High School in California. As a senior, he set program records for catches (54), yards (969) and touchdowns (17).
Judge was recruited by the likes of UCLA, Stanford and Notre Dame, but ultimately fell in love with baseball, which he chose to play at Fresno State.
Judge was familiar with Wilson’s baseball career, having followed the Pro Bowl signal-caller’s spring-training stint with the Rangers.
“Once I heard we picked him up I kind of figured the same thing would happen,” Judge said.
As far as baseball is concerned, Judge, who is recovering from offseason surgery on his left shoulder, went through his normal hitting routine and did a little work outside at The Boss.
Judge said Wednesday that he is progressing well and remains on track to play on Opening Day.
“My left shoulder in the cages feels pretty good,” Judge said. “It’s just about staying on track. That’s the biggest thing for me is to make sure I don’t ever regress.”