John “Owen” Wilson
Born: August 21, 1883 - Austin, TX
Died: February 22, 1954 - Bertram, TX
Career BA: .269
Pittsburgh Pirates NL (August 21, 1883 - February 22, 1954)
St. Louis Cardinals NL (1914–1916)
Owen “Chief” Wilson’s slashing batting style was a perfect fit for the expanse of Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Wilson set what may be one of the most unbreakable records in baseball in 1912, when he posted 36 triples. That season the Pirates totaled 129 triples as a team, which is also the MLB record. Wilson was not streamlined at 6 feet 2 inches, and 185 pounds, or particularly speedy, but he drove the ball to the gaps, hitting 59 career homers in nine seasons, 31 of which were inside the park. Originally known as “Tex,” his Pirates teammates called him “Chief” because manager Fred Clarke thought he looked like a chief of the Texas Rangers. Wilson was said to have a tremendous throwing arm and he occasionally demonstrated his considerable prowess with a lariat. Wilson had started his pro career in the Texas League in 1905, and in 1917 he returned to that league for one season to play for the San Antonio Bronchos, after which he retired to his family ranch in Bertram, Texas.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The T206 Collection: The Players and Their Stories