Willie Wilson (baseball)

Willie Wilson (baseball)

Infobox MLB retired
name=Willie Wilson
birthdate=birth date and age|1955|7|9
debutdate=September 4
debutteam=Kansas City Royals
finaldate=May 16
finalteam=Chicago Cubs
stat1label=Batting average
stat3label=Stolen bases
* Kansas City Royals (by|1976-by|1990)
* Oakland Athletics (by|1991-by|1992)
* Chicago Cubs (by|1993-by|1994)
* 2x All-Star selection (1982, 1983)
* World Series champion (1985)
* Gold Glove Award winner (1980)
* 2x Silver Slugger Award winner (1980, 1982)

Willie James Wilson (born July 9, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama) is a former Major League Baseball player for the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, and Chicago Cubs. He was an outfielder known for his speed and ability as an effective leadoff hitter.

A highly regarded high school baseball, football, and basketball player in Summit, New Jersey, Wilson was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the first round of the 1974 draft, and he made his debut with the team as a September call-up two years later. He led the league in stolen bases in 1979, his first season as a full-time player in the majors. In 1980 he led the league in plate appearances, and his 705 official at-bats that season were a major league record until it was surpassed by Jimmy Rollins in 2007. Additionally, Wilson won a batting title in 1982, with a .332 batting average.

Willie was an American League All-Star in 1982 & 1983. Wilson was named an OF on The Sporting News AL Silver Slugger Team in 1980 & 1982. Wilson also won a Gold Glove and finished 4th in the MVP voting during his record setting 1980 campaign. Wilson led the American League in singles for 4 consecutive seasons (1979-1982).

In 1983, Wilson found himself in a drug scandal along with teammates Willie Aikens, Vida Blue, and Jerry Martin. All four pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug charges (attempting to purchase cocaine) and became the first active major leaguers to serve jail time, serving 81 days at Fort Worth, Texas, Federal Correctional Institution. He was suspended by commissioner Bowie Kuhn for the entire 1984 season, but the suspension was reduced on appeal and he was able to return on May 15. The Royals traded or released the other three, with only Wilson returning to the Royals, and he hit .301 and stole 47 bases after his return.

Wilson left the Royals following the 1990 season and he wound up his career with two seasons in Oakland and parts of two seasons with the Chicago Cubs, mostly as a fourth outfielder. Wilson retired with a .285 career batting average and 668 stolen bases. He was elected to the Royals Hall of Fame in 2000.

Wilson coached in the Toronto Blue Jays system in 1995 and 1997. He currently runs The Willie Wilson Baseball Foundation and lives in Toronto, Ontario.

In 2003, Wilson was named field manager of the London Monarchs Baseball Club in the fledgling Canadian Baseball League, but the league folded half-way through the 2003 season.

Career Notes

In the 1980 World Series, which the Royals lost 4 games to 2 against the Philadelphia Phillies, Wilson had the dubious distinction of setting a World Series record by striking out 12 times, including the final out against Tug McGraw.

In later post season series, Wilson gained a measure of redemption from the albatross of that performance, hitting .310 against Toronto in the 1985 ALCS and .367 against St. Louis in the 1985 World Series, and stealing seven bases in the 1992 ALCS against Toronto.

For his career, Wilson hit 13 inside-the-park home runs, the most of any Major League player playing after 1950.

ee also

* List of major league players with 2,000 hits
* List of Major League Baseball players with 100 triples
* List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
* List of Major League Baseball players with 500 stolen bases
* List of Major League Baseball batting champions
* List of Major League Baseball leaders in career stolen bases
* List of Major League Baseball runs scored champions
* List of Major League Baseball stolen base champions
* List of Major League Baseball triples champions
* List of Major League Baseball players with 400 stolen bases


External links

* [http://www.williewilsonbaseball.org/ Willie Wilson Baseball Foundation]

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