Left-hander C.J. Wilson missed the 2016 season due to shoulder troubles, and it now sounds as if he may not return to professional baseball. The 36-year-old told Tommy Tran of ABC 30 that he’s purchased an Audi/BMW/Porsche dealership in Fresno (one of multiple dealerships that he owns) and also plans to shift his focus primarily to his auto racing career (video link).
As Wilson explains to Tran, he owns a racing team (C.J. Wilson Racing) which races Porsches in the International Motor Sports Association, and he’s looking forward to getting behind the wheel himself more often. Racing, along with baseball, has been a lifelong passion for Wilson, as he explains to Tran in the previously linked interview. Wilson didn’t expressly rule out a return to baseball, though he did suggest that his career could be over: “I’ve made all my mistakes, as a baseball player, that I’ll ever make, hopefully. So that’s good — no more home runs to give up.”
In an interview with Doug Gottlieb of CBS Radio 97.5 FM / 1240 AM (audio link, hat tip to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register), Wilson wasn’t quite as definite. “I still keep myself in shape,” said Wilson. “I’m still working out and all that stuff. I just tell everybody that I signed with C.J. Wilson Racing instead of signing with a baseball team.” Asked specifically if he would ever pitch again, he responded: “I don’t know. I mean, if the situation was right, maybe. But I think at this point, right now, I’m here at the dealership and working on racing and focused on that. The most attractive offer I had was to race this year.”
For the time being, it certainly seems that a return to pro baseball is unlikely for the longtime Rangers/Angels left-hander. Wilson said to Gottlieb that his goal is to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (an endurance racing event in France) this year.
If Wilson’s baseball career is indeed over, it’ll conclude with a 94-70 record, 52 saves, a 3.74 ERA and 1259 strikeouts over the course of 1430 1/3 regular-season innings. The left-hander made two World Series appearances with the Rangers in 2010-11 and also appeared in the playoffs with the 2014 Angels.