Sometimes authors leave excellent details out of a story, as I did today. I asked Wilson for the highlight of his brief minor league managerial career. He didn’t mention any particular games, or the development of a phenom. No, Wilson told me that one of his few rules was this: If your family was coming to town, you’d play—period.
Well, when he was managing the Mets’ Rookie League club in Kingston, Tennessee he was given a third catcher … a kid named Bryan Purkey. According to Mookie, Purkey was mainly the bullpen guy, so when his family came to town he said nothing. Wilson, however, found out, and placed Purkey in the night’s lineup. “Bryan scored the winning run,” Wilson said. “That was the neatest thing for me.”
I called Purkey, and he returned my outreach post-deadline (sadly). “Mookie,” he said, “was all class. Just the best.”