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Dan WIlson got noticed in long career: Baseball Profiles

Dan Wilson 1990 Charleston Wheelers card

The Reds had had their eye on young catcher and Minnesota product Dan Wilson for a while, one scout told The Minneapolis Star Tribune ahead of the 1990 draft.

In fact, they'd known about him - and wanted him- for six years.

"I've had an eye on this kid since he was a 15-year-old high school freshman," scout Bill Clark told The Star Tribune. "I was working with the Cincinnati Reds, and he showed up uninvited at my tryout camp. He was amazing."

The scout's assessment proved every bit correct and the Reds eventually did take Wilson. Wilson then went on to not only make the majors, but see 14 seasons, 12 with the Mariners.

Wilson's career began that year in 1990, in the first round of the draft, seventh overall, out of the University of Minnesota.

Wilson started with the Reds at single-A Charleston. He saw 32 games and hit .248. He then saw Charleston and AA Chattanooga for 1991. For 1992, he saw AAA Nashville - and made Cincinnati.

He debuted with the Reds in September 1992. He saw 12 games and hit .360. He saw another 36 games in 1993 before being traded to the Mariners for 1994.

He then became a regular in Seattle. He saw 91 games in 1994, then 119 in 1995. In 1996, he got into 138, while hitting .285. He also made the All-Star team.

The Cincinnati Enquirer noted ahead of the All-Star game that Wilson wasn't as well known as his teammates. Wilson was OK with that.

"That's kind of the way I like it," Wilson told The Enquirer. "I'm not really much for fanfare. I just like to try to get my job done and do it as anonymously as possible."

Going into 1997, he'd earned a contract extension worth at least $6.55 million.

"It's great security as a player," Wilson told The Kitsap Sun that April of the extension, "but it's more fun to know I'm going to be with these guys and be able to build and grow with this team. That to me is more important than the money."

Wilson continued on with the Mariners into 2005. He saw 90 or more games in 11-straight seasons for Seattle. He hit .262 over his Mariners career, with 88 home runs. 

One of those home runs came in May 1998 - an inside-the-park grand slam.

He announced his intention to retire in September 2005.

"When I think of Dan Wilson, the first thing that comes to mind is character, integrity," Dave Valle, whom Wilson succeeded as Mariners' catcher in 1994, told The Seattle Times then. "The baseball stuff sort of comes along at the back end."

Wilson has since gone on to help the Mariners elsewhere. In 2017, he served as a minor league defensive coordinator.

Dan Wilson 1990 Charleston Wheelers card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,369
Made the Majors:1,408-32.2%-X
Never Made Majors:2,961-67.8%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:574-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:354

1 comment:

  1. There's a well-known singer and songwriter named Dan Wilson--he was the leader of Semisonic of "Closing Time" fame and has written hits for other artists. Oddly enough, he's from Minnesota too.