Dan Wilson to Retire

Dave · September 12, 2005 at 3:08 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

There’s a press conference that will be held in about an hour where its expected that Dan Wilson will announce his retirement, effective at the seasons end.


77 Responses to “Dan Wilson to Retire”

  1. msb on September 12th, 2005 7:11 pm

    #38– interestingly, Wilson et al. seem to think that he’d actually do better catching an inning than he would hitting (and then having to run) Guess we’ll see at the end of the month…

  2. Scraps on September 12th, 2005 7:23 pm

    I don’t think Olerud’s lead in defense at first base erases Davis’s edge in batting, especially considering Davis was there longer.

  3. Ralph Malph on September 12th, 2005 7:27 pm

    So he’ll catch an inning and do what if he has to chase down a popup or a passed ball?

    This would be a very bad idea. They damn well better not do it against a team in a pennant race. That would be making a mockery of the game.

    Although, come to think of it, they’ve already done that.

  4. Ralph Malph on September 12th, 2005 7:28 pm

    OK, I’ll agree to Alvin over Olerud at 1B. He is Mr. Mariner, after all.

  5. MarinerDan on September 12th, 2005 7:33 pm

    Dan —

    Thanks for your contributions. You were a hard-nosed player, a competitor, and a true Mariner.

    You will be remembered.

  6. IceX on September 12th, 2005 8:02 pm

    Clement is in the wings, but he’s got a development curve ahead of him. Defense and the riggors of a long schedule are all going to be something he needs to develop over the next couple of years to become the starting catcher. He’s already declared that he’s going MLB this last year, and as an FA, an Iguchi-style acquistion (5 million/2 years, 3rd year option) isn’t far out of question. He’d be a perfect stopgap for Clement and a smart acqusition for cost effective players without sacrificing the quality part of the equation.

  7. Allen McPheeters on September 12th, 2005 8:10 pm

    I was never a big fan of Wilson’s but he is the only player I ever saw hit an inside-the-park homerun – at the Kingdome, against Detroit, the last year the M’s were indoors. He hit a double off the wall in right center that the RF misplayed. Pretty damn exciting.

  8. Anne on September 12th, 2005 8:11 pm

    Forgive my getting sentimental and girly, but combined with the recent “when did you become a baseball fan” post, this seems an appropriate story.

    Spring 2001, my freshman year of college at UW. After a failed attempt at teaching myself to like coffee (which I finally succeeded at attaining while living in Europe, go figure), I was searching for another way to “become a Seattleite.” I decided to adopt a local sports team, and baseball being the least objectionable of the three big pro sports, settled on the Mariners. Starting Opening Day I tried to catch as many games as I could on tv. I knew Edgar already, of course, but I got to know Boone and Olerud and Cameron and had fun learning the strategy. It was entertaining enough to keep watching, and I had no idea that winning so frequently was anything special!

    Around the end of April I was perched on the couch with the game on in the background as I did homework, and I looked up at just the right moment to catch the most spectacular play I had ever seen (in three short weeks of baseball-watching). The batter popped the ball up behind the plate and the catcher – some guy named Wilson whom I had never noticed to that point – leaped up, threw off his mask, sprinted to the wall, slid, and caught the ball right as he ran into the fence.

    I don’t know why that play struck me so much between all the other amazing and new things I had seen in the infancy of that season, but I sat there with my mouth agape and at that moment I fell in love with the game of baseball.

    For that I will always have a soft spot for defensive catchers and FO2s, and will always be a Dan Wilson fan.

  9. Adam S on September 12th, 2005 8:29 pm

    If they feel a need to get Wilson on the field, he could be the starting catcher, catch for one pitch or one hitter, and be replaced by a real catcher walking off to a standing ovation.

    More realistically they could have him bring out the lineup card or go make a pitching change, as Edgar did.

  10. jim on September 12th, 2005 8:45 pm

    Agree msb and Adam, his appearance behind the plate would be brief – one inning or maybe one batter. Only he and his radiologist and orthopedist know what his knee’s really like. But if re-injury isn’t imminent, I would think he could numb it up and squat for one inning. Would be less risky than batting I believe, and batting would be likely to be a letdown. Geez, the guy was a hockey goalie once too! But, in order to make pulling him an event, maybe one batter in the 9th then replace him with Catcher #3?

    But, even a pitching change appearance would be nice if playing’s right out of the question.

  11. Rob on September 12th, 2005 9:39 pm

    I started watching baseball when I was 8 in the 94 season. As I was a catcher in little league, I liked Dan. In 95 he became my favorite player, and I don’t just mean on the M’s, but in all of baseball. I know it has no basis, and I know that perhaps he wasn’t always the best, but you could always COUNT on Dan. Anyone who could catch Randy when he lost control in 95-97 was a darn good catcher. And it was always Dan.

    The other great thing about Dan was that he was such a great person. If I were asked by someone with no knowledge of baseball what someone should be like, I would have to describe Dan. Plays the game fairly, respects the umpires ruling, plays the game well, and respects the game by working hard and treating the fans right. Dan helped the Mariners in 95, he helped save baseball in Seattle, but he also helped save baseball everywhere. Don’t forget that 95 was the year after the strike and baseball desperately needed an exciting playoff to get some fans back.

    Sorry to ramble, but, here’s to Dan, the greatest player ever, according to me 🙂

  12. Tom on September 12th, 2005 10:16 pm

    You know, it just seems so hard to believe how time flies by. Dan is the last link of the M’s magical 1995 team that saved baseball in Seattle. Chuck Armstrong is absolutely right when he says this really is the end of an era in Mariners baseball.

    It seems so hard to believe that this era is over.

    I remember being just 7 years old in 1995 and going with my dad to all the playoff games against the Yankees and Indians, and how the Kingdome went wild every time something good happened. That team is what really got me into baseball for the very first time. And to be completely honest, I honestly think the Mariners, good or bad, make Seattle a better place to live. And it was people like Dan Wilson who worked hard on the field and in the community to make that so.

    Like Edgar, just about every significant Mariner effect has had Dan Wilson in it. From ’95, to 2001, to SAFECO Field, etc. And no question, he always was the quiet stable of the Mariners that you wouldn’t even notice sometimes. I think even more than Edgar because Edgar had more stats than Dan. But Dan was a classic old-school catcher that always came to the ballpark every day to work hard. And he did it for 12 awesome seasons in a Mariner uniform.

    So as this era of Mariner baseball ends and I now enter my senior year of high school, I will honestly say these years will go down as some of the best of my life.

    My hope is going forward that Dan stays with the Mariners in some way, he’d certainly make a neat coach. And I’m hoping also that these next-gen Mariners develop into something special like the teams we’ve been blessed with the last 10 years.

    The torch has been passed from one generation of M’s to another, but one thing will always be for sure.

    No matter how many times we talk about how Dan couldn’t hit, or we should’ve had Jason Varitek or Pudge Rodriguez behind the plate right now, and no matter how good Mr. Clement does in the big leagues, there is aboslutely no question.

    Dan will always be The Man in Seattle.

    MY OH MY!

  13. tede on September 12th, 2005 10:42 pm

    #47 I’d take Bill “The Inspector” Caudill over Kazu. Kazu had plenty of layup saves thanks to Arthur Rhodes and/or Nelson presence and the outstanding M’s offense while he was here. Couldn’t get the job done in the ALCS though.

    The Inspector was great, had lots of 2 inning saves until US Ambassador to Spain George Argyros ran him out of town.

  14. Senor Romo on September 12th, 2005 11:12 pm

    Re: #47/62. I liked Bill Caudill too, and I think there’s an argument to be made for all these candidates and it wouldn’t be Kaz hands down, is all I’m saying. Enrique Romo’s numbers are kind of weird since he wasn’t used EXCLUSIVELY as a closer and so to compare him as a closer to Schooler, Kaz, or the Inspector would require some qualitative interpretation. Romo’s numbers are so scattershot because, if I recall correctly, the M’s pitching was so bad that sometimes he had to start, sometimes middle relief, sometimes closer. But just because he was versatile doesn’t mean he wasn’t the best closer in a head to head matchup…

    ‘night all.

  15. Bela Txadux on September 13th, 2005 3:07 am

    I expected the ST invite for Dan, but I’m glad that he read the writing and decided to stay home full time. A blown ACL is a rotten injury for a catcher, and though I expect he still has the desire to play, retirement is the realistic option. I’ve like him as a person and a player, and I fully expect to see him as a coach in time, preferably with this organization.

  16. Andrea on September 13th, 2005 6:14 am

    Never a baseball fan, I, too, got swept up in the frenzy of the ’95 playoffs. The M’s became my team, and it has carried through to now.

    One of the first games that I watched in 1996, Dan Wilson–a player I had never noticed before–hit both a home run and a grand slam in the same game. Now since I was new to baseball, I had no clue what a grand slam was, but I was so happy for Dan and felt that he must be pretty proud of himself!

    After that game, Dan was my favorite player, and he continued to be … despite his numbers. He was just a nice guy to have around and respect.

    I no longer live anywhere near Seattle–Washington, D.C. now–so I’ve adopted a new team in the Nationals, but I am very sad that I won’t be around to see the twilight of Dan’s career.

    Thank you Dan!

  17. petec on September 13th, 2005 7:27 am

    >>baseball being the least objectionable of the three big pro sports

    I smell a new marketing slogan for 2006. “The Mariners – the least objectionable team in Seattle”. It’s right up there with the Seahawks’ from a few years ago – “We like our chances”.

  18. Jason on September 13th, 2005 8:27 am

    I remember a game a few years ago when Lou had one of his patented Pinella blow-ups at the home plate ump. This one stopped just short of base throwing, but did include covering home plate with dirt. Apparently Lou said something about the ump’s mother or something, as the ump was fairly steamed himself and made no move to clean off the plate before restarting play. Dan just looked at the umpire for a few seconds, and when he realized that the ump wasn’t going to clean the plate he asked the ump for his brush, leaned over right in front of him, cleaned up the plate for his pitcher, handed the brush back, and got down behind the plate to get the game strted again. There was just something about that moment that stuck in my head as being a typical Dan Wilson move.

  19. Paul T on September 13th, 2005 9:59 am

    I would love to see Dan start the final game of the season, October 2nd against the A’s with King Felix pitching. A fitting transition and passing of the torch from the last link left of the players who saved baseball in Seattle to the future.

  20. Karen on September 13th, 2005 10:01 am

    I had the same experience in getting re-acquainted with baseball — for me, in 1986, during the ALCS and World Series, with the Boston Red Sox — and it was a catcher central to my attention then, too. Rich Gedman got nailed by a pitched ball twice that I remember, once on the hand by Mike Witt in the ALCS against the Angels, and once on the collarbone, in either the 3rd or 4th game of the World Series.

    Both times the pain must have been agonizing — nothing was broken, just badly bruised — but he kept slogging on through the games without begging out of the lineup. I’m sure his game suffered because of these injuries, but a catcher’s job is to catch the pitcher, not to style, set records (although Gedman did, against the Mariners, in Clemens’ 20-K game), or allow his offense to become paramount. That’s everyone else’s job.

    I feel the same way about Dan Wilson. Courage, strength, patience, understanding, intelligence, ability — these all are characteristics of the MVC (most valuable catcher), and Dan Wilson certainly epitomizes that.


    One aside, about Yorvit Torrealba: I’m much amused by the times he’s been called on to be interviewed after the game by one of the FSN guys. Most catchers are succinct to the point of getting only one or two standard cliche comments out of them, but Yorvit seems to like to talk…. 😉

  21. Steve Thornton on September 13th, 2005 4:51 pm

    Dan Wilson VORPs (and rank among all catchers):

    1992 2.6 37th with Cincy
    1993 – 2.1 70th ”
    1994 -12.7 78th with Seattle
    1995 19.9 13th ”
    1996 25.2 9th
    1997 21.3 11th
    1998 8.9 26th
    1999 7.1 30th
    2000 – 5.2 96th
    2001 13.8 17th
    2002 19.5 11th
    2003 – 3.1 83rd
    2004 – 2.1 80th
    2005 – 3.0 85th (to date)

    Dan Wilson was not a good player. He had a couple of modestly decent years, but he had more where he was mediocre or substantially worse. Dan Wilson represents to me many of the qualities that I LEAST like in baseball players — handsome white guys who can’t hit but get by on the “strength of their character” and their appeal to the ladies. People see in Dan what they want to see, reflected back at them. Not unlike a certain Mr. Bloomquist.

    And I am now the most hated blogger in Seattle. So be it….

  22. msb on September 13th, 2005 5:02 pm

    #70. ah me. obviously, the Dan love being expressed is not for his offensive production, but then– he is a catcher. Personally, I don’t expect a catcher to be a big part of the offense because I have never followed a team that had Bench, Piazza or Rodriguez behind the plate. They are a rare breed.

  23. PaulMarrottWeaver on September 13th, 2005 5:24 pm

    Touche Thornton,
    I like stats, but I don’t 100% trust VORP being as it says he’s the #9 or #11 best catcher when I remember him clearly being more like in the #3 to #5 range. His defense rocked, his bat was good when he was patient at the plate, but that was sporadic and got worse as his career went along.
    I’d still have to put him as the M’s best all-time Catcher.

    Plus, AD offense (and longevity) beats out Olerud’s marginal gain in defense for me.

    So, what do you all think? Is Danny a Mariner’s HoFer? Does he join AD and Niehaus? He doesn’t get his number retired or anything like that, and Buhner would have to get in before him, but does he make that all time pillar of baseball achievement? Come on, no one else has more sacrifices in Mariner history!

    Good to see him retire. He could have not retired….Catcher is one of those rare positions that a player can bounce around from team to team, barely playing in his old age and still retain glory as a player – like Tony Pena or Pat Borders or any number of catchers who play into their late 30’s early 40’s. But it’s good to see him leave, because he seems like a guy who could gain more from doing other things – six figure salary or not.

  24. goodbye baseball on September 13th, 2005 5:49 pm

    To whoever is moderating this thread: thanks for letting my post go through. I was a little concerned when I saw it was in moderation yesterday, but kept silent at your request. The only thing I could think of was that maybe my paragraph that mentioned Bavasi’s comments at the feed didn’t fit the guidelines. If it had been deleted, I would’ve understood. Either way, I’ve enjoyed the comments on Wilson from both sides and was glad to offer my $.02, even though my knowledge of his career is more limited than others.

  25. Dave in Palo Alto on September 13th, 2005 6:44 pm

    Bill Caudill was the Inspector? I thought he was Cuffs based on some prank.

    I like a guy who spends a career with the M’s, but man did he look lost when October baseball came around. Wasn’t he setting some record for futility, broken only by some infield “hit”?

  26. Mincher5 on September 13th, 2005 6:48 pm

    I will always remember Wilson’s inside the park
    grand slam against Detroit in ’98.

    Since I never went to any playoff games, espeically
    in ’95, or saw any no-hitters, it ranks as the best
    moment I ever witnessed at a ‘ners game (in the dome, too).

    I’m sure Willy will be offered a position somewhere
    in the organization, whether as a broadcaster, roving
    instructor, or maybe even eventually on the coaching
    staff if he wants.

  27. Steve Thornton on September 13th, 2005 7:19 pm

    OK, let’s break it down. His best season in VORP, 1996 — 25.2, 9th in baseball.

    Mike Piazza was a monster that year; VORP 84.8, 16th among all players (remember that catchers rarely rank that high because they tend to get so much more time off than other positions. OK; Piazza’s the best-hitting catcher of all-time, though. Then Todd Hundley, 54.8. Hundley had more good years than I remember, but had a lot of really disappointing ones, too; but this was clearly his best. Twice as good as Wilson. Then I-Rod, best in the AL, 48.6; far from his best, too. No surprise there. Then Terry Steinbach, 48.0. Terry was ALWAYS massively better than our Dan. Mike Stanley, 40.3. Starting his decline; he was a much better hitter than Dan over his career, too. Then Benito Santiago, 32.0 with the Phillies that year, one of his best. Better than Dan, and played in more than half as many games, too; also likely finished, with 23 AB this year. Then Chris Hoiles, 31.8. A monster hitter, much underrated, but kind of scary with the glove (in accordance with Sherri Nichols’ Law of Catcher Defense). Then Mike McFarlane, 30.2. A big year for him; I’d actually say he compares pretty well to Dan. Then Dan, and then Jason Kendall, 23.7, just getting started, Javy Lopez, Eddie Taubensee (the first guy mentioned who’s clearly inferior to Dan over his career), and Don Slaught, who’s roughly comparable, and so on.

    That’s Dan’s BEST year. In 2000, he was down with Kelly Stinnett and Matt Walbeck — just dreck. Actually, if you raise the bar to 300 PA, he’s by FAR the worst catcher in the bigs — our friend Wiki is next to last, with 0.1 VORP to Danny’s -5.2. Ouch.

    In 1994, keeping that same 300 PA limit, the first year he made it, he was next to last, -12.7 to Matt Walbeck’s -16.6 — the worst figure in all of baseball. Dan was third-worst.

    In 1995, middle of the back, between Tony Eusebio and Darren Daulton (still with the 300 PA limit).

    1996, 9th. 1997, 10th between Hoiles and Hatteberg. 1998, 17th between Lieberthal and Walbeck (again with the Walbeck). 1999, 21st between Einar Diaz and Kelly Stinnett. 2000, dead last, 25th; ninth-worst player at any position. 2001, 14th, between Kendall and Jason Larue. 2002, 11th, between Michael Barrett and Damian Miller. 2003, third from bottom, between Brent Mayne and Brandon Inge. 2004, fourth-bottom, between Brad Ausmus and Jason Phillips. And he won’t make 300 PA ever again.

    Seriously, do you think Matt Walbeck was spoken of with reverence when he retired?

    Dan Wilson was never in the top three or anywhere near it.

    Now, maybe if you add in the glove, he gets there. But Sherri Nichols’ Law is about perception, not reality. I’m not sure that the phrase “catcher’s defense” has enough meaning to be measured. But catcher’s offense can be, and Dan’s was pretty bad. One of the worst M’s hitters of the past decade, in fact.

    The only reason he’s on the short list for best M’s catcher ever is because the M’s have never had a good catcher, ever! If you want to pick Wilson over Valle, I could go along with that, but that’s kind of like saying your girlfriend has the cutest cold sore in the room.

    He does rank fourth on our all-time games played list, and first in Sacrifice Hits, which figures, (and fifth in GIDP). He’s high on a lot of lists because he played here an unusually long time, and we frankly haven’t had very many good players in our history, not guys who’ve played for many, many years. I mean, I love Alvin Davis, but on most teams he wouldn’t be your all-time best 1B.

    I’m sure Dan Wilson is a great guy, and an asset to the lives of all who know him. It’s cool to be a big fan of not-so-great players. He certainly wasn’t the worst guy we’ve ever run out there, that’s for sure. But he was not a good baseball player. In fact, the doe-eyed love he gets kind of sums up the mediocrity of this franchise to me.