RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. -– Brian Wilson made his first professional appearance in 16 months Wednesday night and breezed through his inning of work with the Los Angeles Dodgers' Class-A affiliate.
Wilson, a three-time All-Star closer and a 2010 World Series hero, signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Dodgers on July 30 after pitching seven seasons for the arch-rival San Francisco Giants. He last pitched April 12, 2012, before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Wilson needed just eight pitches, his fastball topping out at 91 mph, to retire the Lake Elsinore Storm's first three batters.
"Basically, I wanted to see what it feels like to get the adrenaline ramped back up again and deal with that and try to be calm about it," Wilson said. "It was nice to feel that and get it over with."
Wilson, 31, has 171 career saves but was signed by the Dodgers as another right-handed setup man to get the ball to closer Kenley Jansen. Wilson, one of the game's more colorful personalities, sported a Mohawk and his trademark long black beard, tied at the bottom with a green rubber band.
On his way out to the mound, Wilson caressed the beard worn for the day by Rancho Cucamonga's dinosaur mascot, Tremor.
Wilson had worked out at the Dodgers' spring training facility for a week and will now head out to pitch for the team's Triple-A Albuquerque club. Wilson is on the 15-day disabled list and will need at least another week before he can join the Dodgers.
"Arm feels fine. We'll see tomorrow," Wilson said. "That's basically what I'm here to do, is the bounce-back factor."
Wilson likely will make his next appearance Friday. Nontendered by the Giants in November, he told reporters before the game he harbors no ill will for his former team. He called his choice to sign with Los Angeles a "baseball decision" and said it won't be strange to don a Dodgers uniform.
"I want to compete, and it's the last two months of the year and they showed an interest in giving me a chance to come back," Wilson said. "I'm going to honor that and thank them for letting me play baseball again."