Yes, that Brian Wilson.
The memories of 'Fear the Beard' might be fresher in the mind of Wilson than the rest of the baseball community, but the 34-year-old, now beardless and having gone a month reportedly eating nothing but guacamole, took the mound at USC Wednesday to throw a 30-minute bullpen session.
During the session, he threw knuckleballs almost exclusively, and fancied what he was producing.
"I can already see myself out there," he told Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, "throwing up some waffles."
It's been more than two years since Wilson threw his last professional pitch, he last played for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was released from the Dodgers in 2014, despite the fact the franchise owed him nearly $10 million for the following season. According to the report, he continued with his baseball training regimen, while running a real estate business simultaneously.
Wilson, once a fan favorite in San Francisco, compiled 172 saves, three All-Star appearances and two World Series titles in nine seasons with the Orange and Black. Even when he was released by the Dodgers, Wilson's plan was never to walk away from the game, the report said.
His elbow — twice repaired via Tommy John surgery — feels strong, as well as his shoulder. Several months ago, Wilson decided to spend more time working on his knuckleball, a pitch he had taught himself how to throw at age 12 and had been crafting ever since. During his tenure in San Francisco, according to the report, coaches asked him to stay away from using the knuckleball to ensure the health of their stable of catchers, which at the time featured Mike Matheny, Bengie Molina and Buster Posey.
And who could blame them — Wilson's fastball was pushing triple digits, and his slider terrorized National League batters in their sleep.
Brown reports Wilson has thrown for at least two teams in the past couple of weeks.
R.A. Dickey, who began exploring more with the knuckleball during his age 30 season, is now 42 and will make $8 million pitching for the Atlanta Braves next season.