LONDONDERRY — It's a long way from the Little League ball fields behind the fire station to the San Francisco Giants bullpen, but his teammates call Brian Wilson "the Travelin' Man" for a good reason.
Wilson, who grew up in Londonderry and pitched for the Londonderry High School baseball team, has done more than just make it all the way to the Bigs. After years of struggling to stick with the team, he enters this season locked into the role as the Giants' closer.
Wilson is an aggressive player, according to Giants General Manager Brian Sabean. The challenge will be monitoring his control and his composure.
"There's a lot of pressure at the end of the game," Sabean said. "It's like kicking the field goal in football. I think he's aware of that, but he's still going to have to go through the trials and tribulations, because he hasn't done it yet at the major league level."
But Wilson, 26, thinks he's up to the task. In a telephone interview Friday, he said he loves to have the game riding on his shoulders. Asked about any goals for this season, he said he hopes he can help the team make the playoffs.
Wilson and his family live in Arizona now. He left New Hampshire after high school and played college ball at Louisiana State University. But he still has ties to home. And the people who knew him growing up are getting a big kick out of watching him play major league baseball. The Giants open their season tomorrow against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
Chris Moran, now of Lowell, Mass., was Wilson's catcher at Londonderry High School. They grew up together, played Little League together, and their mothers still stay in touch. Moran saw a couple of games when Wilson played in the minors, and he follows Wilson's career over the Internet.