Willie Wilson was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the 18th pick of the first round in the 1974 amateur baseball draft. The most notable players selected ahead of him were Lonnie Smith (#3), Dale Murphy (#5), Garry Templeton (#13), and Lance Parrish (#16). Local high school star, Rick Sutcliffe from Independence, Missouri was selected by the Dodgers at #21.
Wilson debuted with the Royals two years later and spent 15 seasons playing center field. In 1979, Wilson led the majors with 83 stolen bases and went on to record 668 for his career, which ranks him #12 all time in major league history. His Royals team record of 612 stolen bases is in no danger of being broken. Another significant feat accomplished by Wilson in 1979 was five inside the park home runs.
1980 was a career year for Wilson. In route to winning a Golden Glove, Silver Slugger, and finishing 4th in MVP voting, he became the first player to have more than 700 at bats in a single season and still holds the American League record with 705. He and Omar Moreno of the Pirates led the majors with 745 plate appearances. He led the majors with 230 hits, 133 runs scored, and tied Alfredo Griffin with most triples in the majors with 15. Wilson’s 1980 numbers for plate appearances, at bats, hits, and runs still stand as Royals single season records.
Wilson led the major leagues and set the Royals single season record for triples in 1985 with 21. He led or tied the American League or the majors for triples five different seasons. Wilson won the American League batting title and led the majors in 1982 with a .332 average, which ties him for 6th best single season record in Royals history – somebody by the name of George Brett has three of the top five single season batting averages for the Royals.
Other pages in this blog that mention Willie Wilson:
Follow Willie Wilson on Twitter.
Let me know if you need any of these cards to complete your collection.
Send an email message to BigBubbo@yahoo.com about any cards you wish to purchase or talk trade. I personally collect Bob Gibson, Roberto Clemente, Tom Seaver, St. Louis Cardinals – especially from the 60’s, 1969 and 1986 New York Mets, and 1985 Kansas City Royals.