Wilson was the top Negro League shortstop of the 1940s. An ideal leadoff man, he batted lefthanded and slapped the ball to the opposite field. He hit .376 over four seasons (1944-45, 47-48) in the Negro American League and captured the 1948 batting title with a .402 mark. He then won the 1949 Pacific Coast League batting crown (.348) and stolen base title. Opposing managers eventually adopted a special defensive shift to counter his batting style. He was also a superior defensive player, a master at the double play who started at shortstop in four East-West all-star games. The Yankees were awarded rights to him in 1950 after a dispute with the Indians, but Wilson had only 22 major league at-bats, with the 1951 Giants.