Wilson, Mutt

Player Name: Wilson, Mutt
Position: Starting pitcher, relief pitcher
Birthplace: Keyser

First, Middle Names: William Clarence  Nickname: Mutt
Date of Birth:  July 20, 1896   Date and Place of Death: Aug. 31, 1962, Leesburg, Fla.
Burial: Lone Oak Cemetery, Leesburg, Fla.

High School: Underdetermined
College: Did not attend

Bats: R             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-3, 167
Debut Year: 1920       Final Year: 1920          Years Played: 1
Team and Year: Detroit Tigers, 1920

Career Summary
G         W        L          Sv        ERA     IP         SO       WAR
3          1          1          0          3.46     13.0     2          -0.3

Mutt Wilson pitched 14 years in the minor leagues and one week with the Detroit Tigers. He spent the rest of his life in Florida working for a railroad.

William Clarence Wilson was born in 1896 in Keyser, a small community in Moore County in the North Carolina Sandhills.1

By then William and Emma Wilson had moved with their five children to Florida. The 1910 census has them in Montbrook, south of Gainesville, where William farmed and his oldest child, Mutt, then 13, was listed as a “fireman” on a water truck.

The youngster, who grew into a hardy specimen at 6-3 and almost 170 pounds, began playing professional ball when he was 19 for a lowly Class D team in Eufaula, Ala. Wilson played various positions in the field for his two years in the minors but settled in as a pitcher in 1918, where he would remain for the next 12 years. He won 86 games during that time while losing 89. Wilson’s best year was probably 1919 when he won 19 games, including eight shutouts, for a weak-hitting Charleston Gulls in the Class C Sally League. After Wilson won another 15 wins the next season, the Tigers bought his contract. Wilson started two games for Detroit and relieved in another during a week in September 1920. His 3.46 earned-run average in 13 innings would seem good enough to earn Wilson another look, but he spent the rest of his career bouncing around the minors.

Wilson retired from baseball in 1930 and soon moved to Wildwood, Fla., when he married, raised a son and worked Seaboard Air Line Railroad, which had more than 4,000 miles of track in the Southeast. Wilson died in 1962.

Footnote
[1] Keyser was originally named for an executive of a railroad company, according to the North Carolina Gazetteer. The name became unpopular during World War I because it sounded too much like “Kaiser.” It was changed to Addor in October 1918 to honor Felix Addor, a local who was killed on a troopship that March.