Inside the Park: Running the Base Path of Life
By Willie Wilson with Kent Pulliam
Willie Wilson played baseball with the mentality of a football player — a grimace, on his face. Totally unprepared for the spotlight of being in the major leagues, Wilson experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, sometimes unable to tell them apart. He helped lead the Kansas City Royals to their first World Series in only his second full season in the Major Leagues.
His 1983 arrest on a cocaine charge could have been the defining moment of his life and sent him spiraling downward. Instead, he responded by helping the Royals to the World Series championship in 1985, playing a key role in the Series by batting .367 and scoring two runs and three RBIs in the Royals' win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
On his way to winning the 1982 batting title, Wilson was the first switch hitter since Mickey Mantle to get 100 hits from each side of the plate, and his 13 inside-the-park home runs are the most of any modern day player in history.
Willie tells his story of growing up a son of the south, displaced to New Jersey at age 7 when he met his mother for the first time. He was a shy child, seeking acceptance in athletics where he