Bill Wilkinson (baseball)

William Carl Wilkinson (born August 10, 1964) is an American former baseball pitcher. A left-handed pitcher, Wilkinson played for Major League Baseball's (MLB) Seattle Mariners in 1985, and from 1987 to 1988. During his career, he had a 5–8 record, 4.56 earned run average (ERA) and 103 strikeouts in 113⅓ innings pitched.[1]

Bill Wilkinson
Born: (1964-08-10)August 10, 1964
Greybull, Wyoming
Batted: Right Threw: Left
MLB debut
June 13, 1985, for the Seattle Mariners
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1988, for the Seattle Mariners
MLB statistics
Earned run average4.13


Born in Greybull, Wyoming,[1] Wilkinson is the great-grandson of Jim Bluejacket, a right-handed pitcher who spent three seasons in the Federal League and National League from 1914 to 1916.[2] Bluejacket and Wilkinson are the only great-grandfather and great-grandson duo that have both played in MLB.[3] Wilkinson's brother, Brian, was selected in the 1987 Major League Baseball draft by the Mariners.[4]


In the 1983 Major League Baseball draft, Wilkinson was selected in the fourth round by the Mariners, with the 87th overall pick.[5] On June 13, 1985, he made his MLB debut with the Mariners, and took the loss against the Kansas City Royals after allowing four earned runs in five and two-thirds innings.[6] Five days later, Wilkinson lost in his only other appearance during the 1985 season, which was also a start; he allowed five earned runs and recorded only one out.[7] In his two major league starts, Wilkinson was 0–2 with a 13.50 earned run average.[1] He was the fifth-youngest player in the American League in 1985.[8] Following his start against the Rangers, the Mariners demoted him to the minor leagues.[9]

Wilkinson did not pitch in the Major Leagues in 1986; he instead played for the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate, the Calgary Cannons of the Pacific Coast League.[1][10] In 1985 and 1986, Wilkinson had a combined record of 13–9 while pitching for the Cannons.[11] He appeared in 56 games as a reliever for Seattle in 1987, the most of any Mariners pitcher that year.[12] He compiled a 3–4 record, with a 3.66 earned run average (ERA) and 10 saves.[1] The following season, Wilkinson pitched in 30 games, and posted a 2–2 record with two saves and a career-low 3.48 ERA.[1] However, he suffered an injury to his left shoulder. Before the 1989 season began, Wilkinson was sent back down to the minor leagues, where he was used as a starter.[11] In April, the Mariners traded Wilkinson to the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of a five-player deal.[13] Wilkinson never pitched for the Pirates, and did not return to MLB after 1988.[1] His final minor league season was 1992, when he pitched for two teams in the Oakland Athletics organization, posting an 0–3 record and 8.21 ERA in 23 games.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Bill Wilkinson Statistics". Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  2. ^ "Jim Bluejacket Statistics". Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  3. ^ Kane, Matt (June 18, 2007). "The fathers of baseball". The Herald Journal. Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  4. ^ "Bob Boone's Son Bret, a Shortstop, Is Selected by the Twins in Draft". Los Angeles Times. June 12, 1987. Retrieved September 18, 2009.
  5. ^ "4th Round of the 1983 June Draft". Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  6. ^ "Kansas City Royals 4, Seattle Mariners 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  7. ^ "Texas Rangers 8, Seattle Mariners 5". Retrosheet. Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  8. ^ "1985 American League Expanded Leaderboards". Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  9. ^ "Transactions". The New York Times. June 22, 1985. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  10. ^ Slade, Daryl (June 28, 1986). "No choice except to be patient". Calgary Herald. p. E6. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Slade, Daryl (April 4, 1989). "Cannons' Wilkinson learns lesson after shoulder injury". Calgary Herald. p. E4.
  12. ^ "1987 Seattle Mariners Statistics". Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  13. ^ Gammons, Peter (May 15, 1989). "Inside: Baseball". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on April 9, 2008. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  14. ^ "Bill Wilkinson (Minor Leagues)". Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2019.

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