Posted by on January 6, 2015 2:33 pm
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Categories: NFLPros

Brady Wilson thought his playing days were over when things didn’t go as planned after leaving WVU. But then he got the call.

On Nov. 26, 2014, Wilson, a WVU baseball alum, signed a deal to play baseball with the Winnipeg Goldeyes in the American Association of Professional Baseball. But it wasn’t an easy journey leading up to that day.

At WVU, Wilson became a mainstay, playing in 206 games as a Mountaineer, batting .285 with 212 hits, 20 doubles, six triples, 10 home runs and 77 RBIs in four seasons. Those numbers, he thought, would land him in the MLB.

The Detroit Tigers showed interest around draft time, but Wilson never heard from them after initial contact, setting his baseball world into a whirlwind.

“I was pretty upset. I was mad,” Wilson said in a recent interview with WVUPros. “I honestly thought this was it for me.”

He began to do some soul-searching, leading him back to WVU.

“I took a little hiatus. I went back to school, finished up my degree and picked up a minor. Then I started working at a baseball facility and that really got me back into wanting to give ball another shot,” Wilson remembered. “I talked to WVU Coach (Randy) Mazey a little about doing Indy ball but he actually suggested I help coach in the fall, which I did when I was finishing up school.

“I was a student coach because my major was in coaching,” he continued, “so they all suggested getting into coaching ASAP would be best for me if that’s what I wanted to do.”

Wilson started games in each of his four seasons at WVU.

Wilson started games in each of his four seasons at WVU.

But that meant he’d have to give up playing.

“I’m not ready for that yet,” Wilson said. “I still want to pursue my dream because I knew that I would regret it in the long run.”

So he began the long journey to get back into baseball, playing in any league he could find. He paid to play in the Texas Winter League to help get himself noticed. That led to a chance to play in the United League for the Rio Grande Valley White Wings, where he hit .317 in 19 games. From there, he thought maybe he’d try the Frontier League, which was having a tryout in the fall of 2014.

“They were having a big tryout for people who were wanting to sign for the upcoming year,” he said. “I talked to the coaches and told them a little about me and they seemed impressed about my past and especially my 60 time.

“I’m not sure if they would have given me a contract or not but coming into it I knew that a lot of these things are just for money.”

But he never made it to the tryout. Instead, while he was preparing to leave for Indianapolis for the tryout, he got a phone call from the coach of the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

It just so happened that the coach was from Wilson’s hometown of Frederick, Maryland and had read about him in the local newspaper.

He offered him on the spot, and despite urgings from his father, Wilson didn’t attend the tryout for the Frontier League and accepted the offer from the Goldeyes.

“I was really excited. I couldn’t believe the timing of it and how it had all come together for me,” Wilson said. “I felt like it was meant to be for me to give ball another shot and coincidentally the coach for one of the best independent leagues you can be on is from my hometown and asking me if I want to keep playing. So I couldn’t wait to just get home home share the news with my family. It made me not getting drafted seem non-existent.”

Wilson will enter the 2015 season in May with a chip on his shoulder in hopes of being able to take the next step in his baseball career. The WVU alum pointed to the Kansas City Royals’ Mike Moustakas, who also played in the American Association, as proof that the jump can be made.

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