Jack Wilson retired yesterday. Read all about it right here on these very online pages. Jack Wilson retired yesterday. You read a sentence like that, maybe skim a paragraph or two about the news, and you go on with your day. I don’t blame you, that’s a perfectly reasonable response. Jack Wilson retired? Oh, I remember him, he was on the Pirates, right? And then the Mariners? Alright. That’s about it. Jack Wilson retired yesterday. Sorry, I just wanted to see how many times I could type “Jack Wilson retired” in one paragraph. A lot, it turns out. Jack Wilson retired yesterday.
Jack Wilson had himself a baseball career, you could definitely say that and not be wrong. 12 seasons, almost 1,300 hits, 14.2 fWAR. Not notable, really. Extremely amazing and successful from one perspective, kind of boring and unremarkable from another. Perspective is everything. Jack Wilson was on the Seattle Mariners for a while, and being a fan of that stupid team, I got a chance to watch him play with some frequency. He was equally parts interesting and frustrating. He was kind of a goofball, and he couldn’t hit, but the dude was really good at defense. So good at defense. A glove wizard at shortstop is one of my favorite things in all of baseball and Jack Wilson was capable of being just that. At least the Mariners can fulfill me in this way, hopefully forever. In honor of Wilson’s retirement, and even though he was manning second base at the time, I’d like us to remember his greatest defensive play as a Mariner, and one of the best defensive plays I’ve ever witnessed with my eyes and brain and heart.
Credit for the GIF goes to Jeff Sullivan, the creator of every single baseball GIF on the entire internet. You can watch some official video and read some official reporting here. Aside from all of that, I really don’t have much else to add by way of commentary, because this play is too good for words. I could sit here and type out something banal, recounting the game situation and describing the action you’ve already witnessed, but I’d prefer to just let it stand, and be, and loop endlessly, an infinite opus of defensive excellence. Look upon the play and know that Jack Wilson was responsible. No matter what he did or did not accomplish in his career as a baseball player, there was a moment in time when he did this, and was perfect.