C.J. Wilson, the former Texas Rangers pitcher who was part of both of the Rangers’ A.L. Championship teams, has announced he is retiring to open a car dealership and focus on auto racing.
Wilson, 36, was a fifth round pick of the Rangers in the 2001 draft, and overcame Tommy John surgery to become a solid reliever for the Rangers from 2006-09. He converted to starting in 2010, and from 2010-11, had a 3.14 ERA and a 3.39 FIP in 427.1 IP for the Rangers over 67 regular season starts, good for a 9.3 bWAR. Wilson was part of the Rangers’ rotation for all six playoff series in 2010 and 2011, putting up a 4.82 ERA in 9 starts and a relief appearance.
Wilson was a somewhat controversial player while he was with Texas, as many fans and media members were critical of his tendency to speak his mind freely and talk about his interests outside of baseball. Long time LSBers may also remember that he used to post in the comments here as blueglovelefty, something that created a bit of a firestorm after they were circulated in the Rangers’ clubhouse.
I think Wilson has been underappreciated by Rangers fans -- he was a big part of two of the greatest seasons in Rangers history, was approachable and friendly with fans, and while he left the Rangers to sign a free agent deal with the Angels after the 2011 season, the Rangers didn’t exactly make much of an effort to retain him.
So I will have nothing but fond memories of C.J. Wilson as a Ranger. Best of luck to him in his post-baseball career.