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Vance Wilson

Kansas City Royals — No. 26
Born: March 17, 1973 (1973-03-17) (age 36)
Mesa, Arizona
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
April 24, 1999 for the New York Mets
Career statistics
(through 2008 season)
Batting average     .250
Home runs     25
Runs batted in     129

Vance Allen Wilson (born March 17, 1973 in Mesa, Arizona) is a Major League Baseball catcher with the Kansas City Royals organization. Wilson stands at 5'11" tall, and weighs 215 pounds. He bats and throws right-handed.


Early career

Wilson was a high school standout at Red Mountain High School in Arizona and continued his hometown success at Mesa Community College where he was tagged as a Junior College All-American in 1994.

The New York Mets selected Wilson in the 44th round of the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft, and the catcher signed with the team the following summer after finishing his college career.

After five arduous and injury riddled seasons in the Mets minor league system, Wilson made his major league debut on April 24, 1999, as a defensive replacement against the Chicago Cubs. Wilson's immediate tenure in New York was short-lived however, and he began the 2000 and 2001 seasons with Triple-A Norfolk.

New York Mets

Wilson finally began to play regularly with the Mets in late 2001, assuming the role of back-up catcher behind perennial National League All-Star Mike Piazza. Used as a pinch-hitter and occasional spot-starter, Wilson's greatest value to the Mets was as a defensive replacement who could prevent runners from stealing bases (something Piazza struggled with). From 2001-2004, Wilson ranked amongst the top three National League catchers for lowest opposing stolen base percentage.

The reserve catcher appeared in a career-high 96 games for the Mets in 2003, notching career-highs of 8 home runs and 39 RBI. However, Wilson was hampered by injuries towards the end of the 2004 season, and the Mets dealt him to the Detroit Tigers on January 5, 2005, for second baseman Anderson Hernandez.

Detroit Tigers

In Detroit, Wilson once again found himself behind another perennial All-Star, this time backing up Iván Rodríguez. During the latter half of 2005 he had a short starting stint, calling 22 games for the Tigers with Rodríguez on the disabled list and ineligible list.

He started 2006 once again on the bench as the Tigers began the race for the American League crown. During the summer he signed a two-year extension with the Tigers.

In 2007, he tore a muscle in his right forearm during the last week of spring training and was expected to be on the disabled list for the first half of the season. He reinjured his arm in early June during a rehab assignment.[1] It required Tommy John surgery, ending his season. Minor leaguer Mike Rabelo replaced Wilson as the back-up catcher.

Wilson was expected to be ready for the 2008 season. However, Wilson suffered yet another injury during his rehabilitation during the winter months. He suffered from Plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation in the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes.[2] After Rodriguez was traded to the New York Yankees, utility player Brandon Inge took over as the team's starting catcher in Wilson's absence. Rabelo was traded to the Florida Marlins, leaving the backup catching duties to Dane Sardinha.

Wilson filed for free agency on October 31, 2008, and expressed interest in re-signing with the Tigers. [3]

Kansas City Royals

On January 7, 2009, Wilson signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals.[4]


  1. ^ "Wilson suffers major setback". Jason Beck,, June 8, 2007. Retrieved on December 3, 2008.
  2. ^ Wilson's injury hindering arm rehab., April 29, 2008, Retrieved on December 3, 2008.
  3. ^ Rehabbing Wilson files for free agency., October 31, 2008, Retrieved on December 3, 2008.
  4. ^ "Royals sign catcher Vance Wilson to Minor League contract". 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 

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