Wednesday, April 23, 2008

#376 Bill Wilkinson

Why this card is awesome: Because Wilkinson seems to be taking the commandment "love thyself" a bit too far, although not quite as far as teammate Greg Briley took it. (Of course, Wilkinson is actually stretching out his pitching arm in this photo.)

Cool stat: Wilkinson had a very short career but quite good major league numbers. For pitchers in the 1980s with between 100 and 200 IP and an ERA+ of at least 110, Wilkinson makes the top 10 for highest strikeout rate. Almost everybody else on the list was either finishing their career at the beginning of the 1980s (J.R. Richard, Victor Cruz) or beginning their career at the end of the 1980s (Rob Dibble, Bryan Harvey, Mike Schooler, David Wells, Jeff Montgomery and many others.) But there's practically nobody else whose entire career comes up in this search.

So the big question is: why was his career so short? About all I can tell is that in 1989 he went back to the minors and didn't put up good enough numbers to make it back to the majors. Weird.

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