All-Time MLB Players From Louisiana: Don Wilson
There have been a number of individuals from Lafayette, and the Acadiana area, that have played in Major League Baseball over the years.
Obviously, the entire state of Louisiana has produced even more.
As a matter of fact, 246 people born in the state of Louisiana have appeared in a Major League Baseball game, beginning in 1874, with John Peters of New Orleans, who played 11 years, with the likes of the Chicago White Stockings, Milwaukee Grays, Providence Grays, Buffalo Bisons, and Pittsburgh Alleghenys.
All summer, we’ll preview a player from the state of Louisiana that appeared in Major League baseball, starting with players from Lafayette, before spotlighting players from the Acadiana area, and then a few from the state itself.
Today, we feature Don Wilson.
Wilson, who was born in Monroe in 1945, although he was brought up in California, made his first appearance for the Houston Astros in 1966.
Over the span of the next nine years, Wilson went 104-92, with a 3.15 ERA. for the Astros, including two no-hitters. He no-hit the Braves, 2-0, in 1967, becoming the first pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter in a domed stadium, before throwing his second career no-hitter, in a 10-0 win over the Reds in 1969.
Wilson was prone to wildness in his career, but he could really bring the fastball, accumulating 1,283 career strikeouts.
Wilson's #40 is retired by the Astros.
Sadly, Wilson’s career, and more importantly, life, was cut short on January 5, 1975, when he was found dead in the garage of his home.
Wilson’s car was running inside the garage, and he succumb to the carbon monoxide poison coming from the fumes.
Just as tragically, his five-year old son, Alex, also lost his live.
The deaths have been officially ruled accidental.
Below is video of Wilson.
The first is of Wilson no-hitting the Braves in 1967:
The second is of Wilson pitching in the 1971 Major League Baseball All Star game, where he faces the likes of Carl Yastrzemski, Al Kaline, and Harmon Killebrew:
The final one is a video tribute to Wilson: