Dan Wilson (baseball)
Daniel Allen Wilson (born March 25, 1969), is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball for the Cincinnati Reds and the Seattle Mariners, primarily as a catcher. He is regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in major-league history, setting an American League record for catchers with a .995 career fielding percentage.
Wilson (right) on June 17, 2004 against the Milwaukee Brewers
|Born: March 25, 1969|
|September 7, 1992, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 30, 2005, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Runs batted in||519|
|Career highlights and awards|
Little League and High SchoolEdit
Wilson excelled as a baseball player from a very early age. He led his hometown Barrington, Illinois team to a 3rd-place finish in the 1981 Little League World Series. At Barrington High School (Lake County, Illinois) he starred as a pitcher and catcher.
Minor leagues (1990–1993)Edit
Wilson was first drafted in the 26th round of the 1987 Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Mets. He did not sign with the Mets, electing to instead go to the University of Minnesota. He re-entered the draft in 1990; he was selected in the first round, seventh overall, by the Cincinnati Reds. He signed in time to play 32 games with the Charleston Wheelers of the South Atlantic League. He returned to Charleston at the start of the 1991 season, batting .315 in 52 games before earning a promotion to Class AA Chattanooga. He started the 1992 season with Nashville in the Triple-A American Association, and he batted .251 in 106 games there before earning a September callup to the major leagues at age 23. He returned to the minor leagues the following year, going to the Indianapolis Indians since the Reds had changed their AAA affiliation after the 1992 season, and he played 51 games for the Indians as well as 36 games in the majors for the Reds.
Seattle Mariners (1994–2005)Edit
After the 1993 season, the Reds traded Wilson to the Seattle Mariners for second baseman Bret Boone. He made the Mariners' roster out of spring training and became an established major-league player, replacing Dave Valle as the Mariners catcher. In his first full season in the majors, he struggled at the plate, batting .216, but he showed signs of his defensive ability with a .986 fielding percentage. That turned out to be the lowest fielding percentage he would have in the years he spent as the Mariners' primary catcher. The 1995 season went better for him; he played 119 games, batting .278 and raising his fielding percentage to .995, as the Mariners won the American League Western Division pennant.
In 1996, Wilson set career highs with 146 games played, 18 home runs, 83 runs batted in, and a .774 OPS. In addition, he made his only All-Star appearance. Wilson hit three home runs in an April 11, 1996 game in Detroit.  The 1996 season was also his first working with starting pitcher Jamie Moyer; Randy Johnson was another pitcher he spent several seasons catching with the Mariners. In 1998 Wilson hit an inside-the-park-grand slam, an unusual feat for any ballplayer, and especially for a catcher. Wilson remained a dependable battery mate for Mariners pitchers over the next several seasons. In the 2000 season, Wilson's numbers declined to a .235 batting average and .990 fielding percentage; he was also limited to 90 games because of injuries. However, in 2001, he regained his form, playing 123 games (122 at catcher) and posting a .265 batting average and a .999 fielding percentage (one error in 744 total chances). Although it was becoming late in his career, he posted a .295 batting average in 115 games for the Mariners in 2002, and a .998 fielding percentage over 96 games in 2003. In what ended up being his last full healthy season in the majors, he batted .251 with 33 RBI in 2004.
Wilson lost his starting job at the beginning of the 2005 season to Miguel Olivo. On May 4, he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Wilson had intended the 2005 season to be his last as a player, and he announced his retirement, effective at the end of the 2005 season, on September 12. Although a torn ACL commonly keeps athletes sidelined for most of a season, Wilson spent most of the rest of the season rehabilitating his knee and was activated from the disabled list on September 30. He came back for one final inning on September 30 against the Oakland Athletics; he had not recovered enough to swing a bat, but he was able to crouch and throw. The Mariners' starting pitcher in that game was Jamie Moyer, with whom Wilson had formed a battery for 190 previous starts dating back to 1996. Moyer pitched to five batters in the inning, which ended when Bobby Kielty flied out to center field, and the Athletics scored no runs. Moyer went on to pitch seven more innings, and the Mariners defeated the Athletics, 4–1.
In a fourteen-year major league career, Wilson played in 1,299 games, accumulating 1,097 hits in 4,186 at bats for a .262 career batting average along with 88 home runs and 519 runs batted in. He ended his career with a .995 fielding percentage; the highest for a catcher in American League history, and the sixth highest in major league history. Wilson led American League catchers twice in fielding percentage, twice in putouts, twice in baserunners caught stealing and twice in range factor.
Wilson set an American League record for catchers with 1,051 putouts in 1997, the fourth highest season total for a catcher in major league history. His 1,128 total chances in 1997 were the sixth highest season total for a catcher in major league history. In 2001, Wilson committed only one error in 122 games, for a .9987 fielding percentage, the fourth highest season average in major league history. He played in more games as a catcher than any other player in Mariners history (1,281).
On January 17, 2012, Wilson was named to the Mariners Hall of Fame.
Since 2011, he has appeared as one of the color commentators for Seattle Mariners baseball games on Root Sports. Notably, along with Dave Sims, Wilson called the game on August 15, 2012 when Félix Hernández pitched the first perfect game in Mariners' franchise history. He was also broadcasting on Root Sports on June 8, 2012 when six Mariners' pitchers combined for a no-hitter.
On November 3, 2013, the Mariners announced that Wilson will become the team's Minor League Catching Coordinator.
- "Dan Wilson at Baseball Reference". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "Longtime Mariners catcher Dan Wilson to retire". ESPN.com. September 12, 2005. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
- "1987 Major League Baseball Draft". thebaseballcube.com. Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "1990 Major League Baseball Draft". thebaseballcube.com. Archived from the original on 28 August 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "Dan Wilson minor league statistics at Baseball Reference". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- Dan Wilson Trades and Transactions at Baseball Almanac
- 1994 Seattle Mariners at Baseball Reference
- 1995 American League standings at Baseball Reference
- Chicago Tribune
- Inside The Park Grand Slams at The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers
- "Dan Wilson activated from 60-day DL". Mariners.com. September 30, 2005. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
- Catchers Career Fielding Percentage at Baseball Reference
- Single Season Records For Putouts by Catcher at Baseball Reference
- Season Fielding Leaders at The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers
- Single Season Records For Fielding Percentage by Catcher at Baseball Reference
- Most Games Caught For Team at The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers
- "Randy Johnson, Dan Wilson named to Mariners Hall of Fame". seattletimes.com. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Dan Wilson named Mariners Minor League catching coordinator". Seattle Mariners. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- Career statistics and player information from ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- "Another M's icon hangs it up - from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
- "Brothers in Arms" - Interview along with Jamie Moyer for Focus on the Family's Breakaway magazine
- Dan Wilson Profile, Baseball Digest, August 1996