Athletics

A's Wilson relishes MLB opportunity, decade in the making

Athletics
Jacob Wilson

It only took 10 years, but Athletics infielder Jacob Wilson got his first MLB hit in the bottom of the sixth inning of Tuesday’s 6-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels. A single to center field served as affirmation after a decade of vying for an opportunity. 

As is tradition, the prized ball was thrown into the A’s dugout for safekeeping.

“It’s been a long time coming for me, after spending 10 years of trying to put myself in this situation where I could kind of make this dream happen,” Wilson said after the game. “So, to go out and to get the first hit out of the way, I mean, words don’t really describe the feeling that you get from that.”

Wilson’s hitting routine in the cage during pregame in the minors helped him earn his recent promotion. A’s manager Bob Melvin mentioned Wilson swung the bat well during spring training also.

The 31-year-old was slashing .288/.385/.630 with 14 home runs and 46 RBI in 218 trips to the plate with Triple-A Vegas.

Utility man Chad Pinder's injury opened the door for Wilson's big-league moment, and Pinder himself sent a text to Wilson after his call-up.

“After my first game in Dallas, Pinder texted me later that day and gave me -- it was like a paragraph -- talking about how excited he was for me to be here,” Wilson said.

Wilson wasn’t added to the Washington Nationals’ alternate training site last year, so he sat at home due to the coronavirus-shortened season. During that time, doubts crept into his mind.

 

“I didn’t get to play,” Wilson said. “And I think that was the one time that it really kind of set in that there was a possibility that dream doesn’t come true.”

In the offseason, he stayed in shape, and that’s when the A's called.   He didn’t hesitate to say yes. 

Following Tuesday’s game, A’s starter James Kaprielian got choked up when asked about Wilson getting his first big-league hit. Kaprielian himself dealt with his own setbacks on his MLB journey.

“Yeah, it gives me chills right now just thinking about it, to be honest,” Kaprielian said. “You know I know how hard I’ve worked so that guy being 31 and me being 27, I know how hard he’s worked, and even talking to him, when I first met him during spring training, the type of person he is, the character he carries, it’s just a really special moment to come up here and get that knock.”

RELATED: Kaprielian's competitive edge never wavers amid A's success

Kaprielian paused as he began to fight back tears.

“Really happy for him.”