He'd resisted changes to his throwing motion, after control problems on the mound. But he finally relented. The result: A complete-game, one-hitter in his fourth big-league outing of the year.
"I started realizing maybe I didn't know everything and that's when I started taking things in," Wilson told The Chronicle. "I let down my guard and realized these guys have been around a long time and they know a lot more than I do."
Wilson was in his third season with time in the majors in 1990. He went on a career that saw time in eight.
Wilson's career began in 1985, taken by the Giants in the eighth round of the draft, out of Oregon State University.
He played that first year at short-season Everett, going 2-4 in 17 outings. Wilson made AA Shreveport in 1988, then AAA Phoenix that same year. Wilson also made major league San Francisco in September.
That first year, Wilson started four games for the Giants, going 0-2, with a 4.09 ERA. He returned to the Giants for 14 more outings in 1989, four of them starts. In 39.1 innings, Wilson gave up 19 earned runs. He also walked 24.
When he got back to San Francisco in 1990, with that altered delivery, Wilson started having success.
On June 13, he threw his complete-game, one-hitter, beating the Padres. In that game, Wilson took a no-hitter into the ninth, before giving up that one single. In early August, Wilson threw a two-hitter.
"I'm out there to win a job," Wilson told UPI after the June no-hit bid. "It's up to us young guys right now to carry our load and help the club out."
Wilson ended up going 8-7, with a 4.00 ERA on the season. In 1991, he went 13-11, with a 3.56 ERA in 29 starts. In July 1991, Wilson went eight innings, giving up one run and, at the plate, Wilson hit a home run.
"It was nice winning the game," Wilson told The Associated Press after that July contest, "but it was a lot nicer with the home run."
Wilson got 26 starts in 1992, but he went just 8-14, with a 4.21 ERA. Included in that season was another two-hitter, against the Astros.
That 1992 outing, though, wasn't so notable for the number of hits Wilson gave up, but for how it ended. It ended on three-consecutive Wilson strikeouts, each on three consecutive pitches.
"He was awesome in the ninth," the Astros' Jeff Bagwell told The AP of Wilson's performance. "Three strikeouts on nine pitches. Wow!"
He got 18 starts with the Giants in 1993 then, after not playing in 1994, got 17 starts in 1995. In each season, Wilson had a sub-4 ERA.
Wilson closed out his major league career with 15 final outings in 1998, with the Angels. His career then ended in 1999, with the Yankees at AAA Columbus.
Wilson has gone on to a post-playing career as a coach in the minors, first with the Giants and, more recently, with the Angels.
In 2003, as pitching coach for the short-season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, Wilson told The San Francisco Chronicle his philosophy on coaching young pitchers.
"For me, it's not so much of being a molder, but a polisher," Wilson told The SF Chronicle. "Let's polish what he's got. That's my belief."
- Lodi News-Sentinel, UPI, June 14, 1990: Wilson twirls one-hitter
- Houston Chronicle, June 23, 1990: Wilson swallows pride to improve
- Sonora Union Democrat, Associated Press, July 26, 1991: Wilson wins with arm and bat
- Albany Herald, Associated Press, June 8, 1992: Wilson ends two-hitter with three strikeouts on nine pitches
- San Francisco Chronicle, July 30, 2003: Going from student to teacher
Cards Featured: 616/880 - 70.0%
Players/Coaches Featured: 627
Made the Majors: 421 - 67%
Never Made the Majors:206-33%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 180
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 132