Tuesday, February 7, 2012
#678) TOM WILSON
Tom Wilson joined the New York Mets when he signed a minor league contract on May 7, 2004. The contract came at the conclusion of a busy period that saw Wilson with three organizations. He initially went to spring training camp with the San Diego Padres, but was released after failing to secure the job of back-up catcher there. Tom signed with the Oakland Athletics who sent him to Triple-A Sacramento. After two weeks he was released, and signed the contract that put him with Triple-A Norfolk to begin the 2004 season.
Vance Wilson suffered a right hamstring sprain while running the bases, and was forced to the 15-day disabled list. In need of a catcher, the Mets promoted the other Wilson on June 15th to fill the void. He made his debut with the team the next day at Shea Stadium. "It's been a whirlwind," Tom said after the game. "I'll tell you what, it's nice to be back up. I thought I would make the Padres, but I talked to the Mets before I signed with Oakland." His pinch-hit assignment against the Cleveland Indians was his only appearance before being sent back to Norfolk on June 20th. The Mets needed to clear roster space in New York for the return of José Reyes from the disabled list.
Tom was summoned back to New York on June 26th. This time he was needed behind the plate for the second game of a Subway Series contest with the New York Yankees. Wilson started the nightcap of the doubleheader in the Bronx on June 27th. Tom collected his first Mets hit during the 11-6 loss that night. However, it would be his uniform to make headlines the next day. Tom and relief pitcher, Jose Parra were in the black uniforms worn by the rest of the team. However, theirs read "Mets" across the chest while their teammates had the appropriate road "New York" jerseys. The error went unnoticed for a time, as Wilson's shirt was unseen beneath his chest protector. When he came to bat in the top of the third inning the mistake was made apparent. " I had no idea." Tom said when asked about it after the game.
The man referred to as a "journeyman" would appear in a total of four games for the Mets and was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Tony Socarras on August 17, 2004. "Hey, you can call me what you want," said Wilson. "As long as my phone keeps ringing. That's the way I look at it."
Tom completed a 16-year professional playing career in 2006. The next season he joined the Trenton Thunder club as their hitting coach. Wilson remained in the Yankees organization, and began a career as a professional scout in 2009.
Tom Wilson signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on February 7, 2012.