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Creating a Timeline of Brian Wilson's Key Moments as an SF Giants Star

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Creating a Timeline of Brian Wilson's Key Moments as an SF Giants Star
Len Redkoles/Getty Images

When the Giants non-tendered reliever Brian Wilson earlier this offseason, the chance remained that he could return to the team on a more reasonable contract.

That chance appears to be no more, as Giants general manager Brian Sabean all but said he won't be back according to a recent New York Post article.

“I’m going to be brutally honest as I always am, I don’t [think Wilson will return],” Sabean said during an event in Midtown on Saturday. “In this case, where you are getting a second Tommy John … it’s the type of rehab where he’s still not further up along to judge exactly where he may be able to come back in major league fashion, let alone as a closer.”

After making $8.2 million in 2012, the Giants would have had to offer Wilson a contract of at least $6.8 million this coming season, so the non-tender wasn't all that shocking.

However, most felt there was at least a decent chance that he could return on an incentive-laden contract and serve as a setup man to Sergio Romo.

The 30-year-old Wilson wraps up a seven-year run with the Giants, having saved 171 games with a 3.21 ERA and 9.6 K/9.

Here is a look at a quick timeline of some notable Wilson moments during his time in San Francisco.

 

Photo Credit: Tigalaya.com

June 4, 2003: Giants select Wilson in the 24th round, 723rd overall out of LSU

Wilson made 51 appearances (22 starts) during his time at LSU, going 18-10 with five saves and a 3.95 ERA. He struck out 128 hitters in 184.1 innings of work.

A torn UCL in April of 2003 ended his college career and was a big reason why he fell so far in the draft. 

 

April 23, 2006: Wilson makes major league debut vs. Colorado Rockies

In his big-league debut, Wilson came on to start the seventh inning and pitched a pair of scoreless frames. He allowed two hits and no walks while striking out three. He struck out the first batter he faced in Jamey Carroll.

 

July 2, 2006: Wilson records his first career save vs. San Diego Padres

A day after blowing the first save of his career, Wilson came on with one out in the eighth inning against the Padres and nailed down a save for Matt Morris.

He stranded the bases loaded in the eighth and allowed a leadoff single followed by three quick outs to secure the save in the ninth.

 

Sept. 11, 2007: Wilson takes over as Giants closer

After losing out on the closer's role in the spring to Armando Benitez, Wilson opened the 2007 season in the minors. He was eventually called up as a setup man before taking over for then-closer Brad Hennessey on Sept. 11.

He converted four of five save chances the rest of the way and finished the season with a 2.28 ERA over 24 appearances.

 

July 15, 2008: Wilson makes his All-Star Game debut

Nick Laham/Getty Images
Wilson in the 2008 All-Star Game, notably sans beard.

After saving an NL-high 25 games during the first half of the season, Wilson was named to the All-Star team for the first time in 2008.

He recorded the first two outs of the eighth inning, getting a flyout from Carlos Quentin and striking out Carlos Guillen before giving way to Billy Wagner. The game would wind up going 15 innings with the AL coming out on top 4-3.

 

Oct. 3, 2010: Wilson records NL-high 48th save of the season

On the final day of the season, Wilson recorded a save against the Padres to coincidentally pass San Diego closer Heath Bell for sole possession of first place on the NL saves leader board. The game also officially eliminated the Padres from the playoffs.

 

Nov. 1, 2010: Wilson records the final out of World Series

With a 3-1 win over the Rangers in Game 5 of the World Series, the Giants became world champions with Wilson on the mound to record the final out.

 

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The final out of the 2010 World Series.

After a gem by Tim Lincecum in which he allowed just three hits and one run through eight innings while striking out 10, Wilson came on in the ninth to face the heart of the Texas order.

He struck out Josh Hamilton to lead off the inning, coaxed a groundout to the shortstop from Vladimir Guerrero and struck out Nelson Cruz for a 1-2-3 inning.

The outing capped a brilliant postseason for Wilson, who didn't allow an earned run in 11.2 innings of work, recording six saves and striking out 16 hitters to just four walks.

 

April 19, 2012: Wilson undergoes Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career

After making just two appearances in 2012, Wilson went under the knife for season-ending Tommy John surgery.

He tight-roped his way through a save in his final outing with the team, allowing three hits and one run to the Rockies but escaping with a 4-2 win and the save.

 

Nov. 30, 2012: Wilson non-tendered by the Giants

The Giants officially cut ties with Wilson by non-tendering him on Nov. 30. He remains a free agent as of writing this, though he'll no doubt find a home before the season starts.

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