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Join us on November 6th for our Annual PAL Draft and reminisce with Royals Hall of Famer Willie Wilson. Along with stories from the great Royals teams of the late ’70s and early ’80s, he will share about his time at the Police Athletic League in Summit, New Jersey, and how his interactions with PAL police officers helped change his life. 

Willie James Wilson was born July 9, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama. At the age of seven, he moved to Summit where he lived with his mother and grandmother. Willie excelled on the local youth league teams in football, basketball, and baseball, and became one of New Jersey’s most storied prep athletes.  

The Kansas City Royals selected Willie with their first pick in the 1974 draft. During his 15 year career with the Royals, he was a two-time All-Star, Gold Glove Award winner, AL batting champion, and an integral part of the 1985 Royals World Series victory. Willie was elected to the Royals Hall of Fame in 2000.   

As a grade-schooler, Willie started attending the Police Athletic League in Summit. The PAL officers there helped Willie in many ways, from making sure he had the proper equipment to attending his games. They gave him a place where he felt safe and cared for.   

“The PAL officers would look at me not as a troublemaker but as someone they wanted to help out and be there for … if not for PAL I would have been influenced by others in his community and it was a rough community, drugs, violence, and crime,” said Willie.

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