The Rangers have their home opener on Friday and the Angels are the opposing team, which means Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson will be in the other dugout.

So naturally everybody is in great suspense wondering what kind of reception Wilson and Hamilton will receive from the sellout crowd. Especially Hamilton…

Really?

Whatever…let’s review.

Wilson was a fifth round pick by the Rangers in 2001 out of Loyola Marymount who missed all of 2004 because of Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery and was rushed in 2005 to the big leagues – imagine that – by a team utterly desperate for pitching. He got off to a rocky start but in 2006 had earned himself a spot in the bullpen.

No doubt he came off as brash and cocky – although that really came later – but he was guilty in the first degree of having considerable confidence in his considerable ability as a pitcher and an overwhelming desire to have a high-profile role on the pitching staff.

By 2008 he was the Rangers closer but came down with an elbow injury that required surgery and he was back as a setup reliever in 2009. He asked for a chance to start and the Rangers gave it to him, although with no promises.

But Wilson won a spot in the rotation by knockout – just as Matt Harrison would do two years later – and in 2010-11 he won a combined 31 games. The Rangers also just happened to win two division titles and went to the World Series both times.

Wilson also had some exotic outside interests like auto racing, photography and surfing – certainly different than the usual golf, hunting and fishing – and he wasn’t shy about offering opinions – condescending or otherwise – on any subject broached by the inquisitive members of the media that he had not yet alienated. He also raised a substantial amount of money for children through his charity events.