Thursday, August 13, 2009

Willie Wilson Give Us Another Reason to Love the Independent Leagues

The "climatic return" of Willie Wilson will take place in the Northern League. Royals fans, rejoice!

The T-Bones and general manager Chris Browne have announced that they will sign Hall of Famer Willie Wilson to a one-day contract for their game against the Joliet JackHammers on August 22. Wilson will wear #6 and start in center field for the T- Bones. The relationship between Browne and Wilson extends back a couple of decades, when Browne was a bat boy for the Royals for seven seasons, beginning with their 1985 World Series season.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to take the field in front of a Kansas City crowd once again,” said Wilson. “I look forward to putting on a T-Bones uniform and playing my last game in front of the hometown fans.”

Wilson, 54, played 19 years in the major leagues, including 15 years for the Kansas City Royals from 1976-90. He was awarded two Silver Slugger Awards (1980, 82) and one Gold Glove (1980) while playing in two all-star games (1982, 83) andreaching as high as fourth in the MVP voting (1980). Wilson sits near the top of many Kansas City records and still holds the Royals record for stolen bases (612), 272 more than any other player in team history. Wilson is also second in team history in triples (133), third in runs (1060), and fourth in hits (1968). He won the American League batting title in 1982 with a .332 mark, led the league in singles for four consecutive years (1979-82) and led the league in triples five times (1980, 82,
85, 87-88). He was the starting centerfielder on the Royals 1985 World Series squad.
I know I'd rather watch a 55 year old former great play centerfield than watch the 2009 Royals right now...unless Greinke is pitching.

Only in the independent leagues.

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