While growing up, this future baseball star had a father that demanded a lot from him. It made him realize that he had to have perseverance if he wanted to get anywhere in life. Unfortunately, his father was not meant to see him rise to become a professional in the sport. He was diagnosed with cancer when Brian was about to enter high school and passed away five years after. It must have been difficult for Wilson to experience such loss at the time. Brian however, seemed to be able to focus his energy into baseball. He became so good that he was being recruited by the Cleveland Indians straight out of high school. Wilson promptly turned down the offer and opted to go to college.
It was a big decision for a young man to make though it would only be a matter of time before he would pursue a professional career. During college he continued to excel as a pitcher and was well into his third season when he suffered an injury to his elbow. He had to undergo Tommy John surgery, or ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) construction. It is where this ligament is replaced with a tendon from another part of the body to make the medial elbow function properly again. Despite this, Wilson was drafted in 2003 by the San Francisco Giants to play in the minors even as he was still recovering.
Brian steadily made his way up to the majors by providing a good showing as a closer. He made his debut with the San Francisco Giants in 2006 as a relief pitcher. Wilson only got better from there but lost the chance to make it to the playoffs in 2009 due to his inability to close out the game.
The Beard as he was called only started appearing in the middle of the 2010 season. His confidence grew as quick as his facial hair. The team finally made it to the playoffs that year and so did his beard. It became even more noticeable as it got thicker and after he reportedly dyed it black. Brian proved himself as one of the elite closers in the game when the Giants made it all the way to the World Series and won.
Wilson’s beard growth continued into the next season and every single one he played in ever since. He required another Tommy John surgery in 2012 and went into free agency to go into full recovery. The Yankees tried to sign him on the condition that he shaved his facial hair off. He declined and so did New York. Fortunately, the Dodgers had other plans and welcomed him on board mid-2013. He played well enough to be offered another contract for 2014. Brian however was not able to perform as well as his beard growth and was released after the season ended.
Wilson had a personality as big as his beard. His flamboyance was always on display every time he took the mound. He was previously fined by the Giants for wearing bright orange sneakers while pitching at a game. It was distracting enough to be noticed. Playing for Los Angeles, his pony-tailed beard was perhaps the only one that has ever made it to Dodger Stadium. He even complemented this with a full Mohawk. Brian was also once offered by a razor company one million dollars to shave off his facial hair, which he adamantly refused. Now without a team to render his services to, his career as a professional might seem to have ended too soon. Only time will tell if he can make it back again to the majors. One thing is for certain; Brian Wilson’s amazing black beard will always be remembered.