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 Artie Wilson

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Artie Wilson

  • Birth 28 Oct 1920 Springville, St. Clair County, Alabama, USA
  • Death 31 Oct 2010 Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
  • Burial Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
  • Plot Section O, Lot 216 Grave 4 W1/2
  • Memorial ID 61291264

Negro League Baseball Player. A shortstop, he hit .402 for the Birmingham Black Barons in 1948, making him the last man to bat over .400 at a top professional level. Born Arthur Lee Wilson, he was raised in Birmingham, Alabama, and played for a local semi-pro team before joining the Black Barons in 1944. During five years with the club he was a Negro American League All-Star four times, and in 1948 helped provide guidance to a then-17 year old Willie Mays. After his .402 season he was playing in Puerto Rico when the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians both claimed him; preferring the Indians, he played for their San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) until Baseball Commissioner 'Happy' Chandler ruled that he belonged to the Yankees, who in turn promptly sold him to the independent Oakland Oaks of the PCL, where he and Billy Martin made up the double play combination. Wilson captured the first of his four PCL batting crowns in 1949 with a .348 average and in the spring of 1951 finally made it to the Majors with the New York Giants, though his stay was brief as he only managed to hit .182 in 22 at bats. (Ironically, Mays was to get his roster slot when he was cut). Returning to the minors, he had a distinguished career with the Oakland Oaks, Seattle Rainiers, and Sacramento Solons before retiring from the Portland Beavers in 1962 with a lifetime PCL batting average of .312. He was named to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 and to the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame in 2003. After leaving the diamond he was a well-liked car salesman in Portland until his late 80s. Wilson died after having Alzheimer's Disease for a short time.

Bio by: Bob Hufford

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 8 Nov 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 61291264
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Artie Wilson (28 Oct 1920–31 Oct 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 61291264, citing Rose City Cemetery, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .