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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bill Wilkinson, Felt Good - 67

Bill Wilkinson came into the game in the fourth inning in this August 1988 and he stayed on for the win, according to The Associated Press.

Wilkinson went 4.2 innings and gave up a single hit. It was the relief pitcher's first win of the year.

"I was surprised to go in that early but I figured just go in and see what happens," Wilkinson told The AP. "It feels good to go in there for a change and pitch well."

Wilkinson picked up that win in his third season with time in the majors. In a career that spanned a decade, it was also his last.

Wilkinson's career began in 1983, taken by the Mariners in the fourth round of the draft out of Cherry Creek High School in Colorado. Wilkinson is the brother of minor leaguer Brian Wilkinson.

He played his first year at short-season Bellingham. He went 4-5 there, with a 3.39 ERA in 13 starts. He then made single-A Wausau in 1984.

Wilkinson split 18 starts in 1985 between single-A Salinas and AAA Calgary. He also got two starts in Seattle that June. He went 0-2, with a 13.50 ERA.

He played 1986 back at Calgary, going 8-8 in 23 starts. For 1987, he returned to Seattle. And he stayed for the year.

Wilkinson got into 56 games for the Mariners that year, putting up a 3.66 ERA and picking up 10 saves. One pitch in August led to a loss. It turned into a home run by Mike Pagliarulo.

"It was a good slider," Wilkinson told The AP. "I'm surprised he hit it out."

He returned to the Mariners for 30 more outings in 1988, with a 3.48 ERA. He saved two games.

Along the way, though, Wilkinson developed tendonitis. He was also traded to the Pirates in 1989, playing the year at AAA Buffalo.

He played part of 1990 with the Royals at AAA Omaha and he missed all of 1991. His final season came in 1992 with the Athletics. He got 23 outings that year between AA Huntsville and AAA Tacoma. It was his final season as a pro.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,872
Made the Majors: 872 - 46.6%-X
Never Made Majors: 1,000-53.4%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 373
10+ Seasons in the Minors:218

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