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10/10/06 2:56 PM ET

Preston Wilson workout day interview

Wilson discusses growing up around Shea Stadium and returning as a Cardinal

Could you just talk about from your perspective the irony of coming back and playing the Mets now and what's going through your mind?

PRESTON WILSON: It's a lot of fun obviously. I grew up around this ballpark watching my dad play. I probably ran around the stadium more than I actually watched games for a long time here. It's always fun for me to come back here. A lot of the people that worked in the stadium 20 years ago are still here and remember me from when I was little. It's always nice to come back here and see smiling faces.

Was there a chance of you ending up with the Mets this year, did anything develop in that realm?

PRESTON WILSON: Well, no, nothing developed. I heard the rumors out there but nothing ever really came out of it. So, here I am.

Preston, where were you in 1986 during the World Series, and Game 6?

PRESTON WILSON: Right behind home plate here in the loge level, watching the whole play. I saw everything up right to when the ball went between his legs and everybody stood up. At 12 years old I didn't have much of a chance. The more I see it, the more I know it would have been a really close play and he got down there really good and Stanley got off the mound really well. It would have been a tough play even if he did glove it.

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What's it been like playing for Tony La Russa and can you compare him with other managers you've had in your career?

PRESTON WILSON: The one thing you notice about Tony is you're not going to outprepare him. He always does his research, he gets his information and passes it on to the players. For me it's been an easy transition playing for him because he just wants you to come, be on time, play hard and try to think a little bit while you're out there on the field.

Aside from one family member, who were your favorites players on the '86 Mets, and what role did that play in your whole upbringing, in your whole upbringing as a ballplayer, being around that team?

PRESTON WILSON: I think being 12 years old, my favorite guys were the guys that played around with me. There would be days with a rain delay, Sid Fernandez, Ron Darling, most of the pitchers, they had a lot of free time, and we would play stickball. Those are the things I remember, sitting down, talking to Strawberry, all of the guys, Gary Carter, seeing him go out, doing his thing. I really got an appreciation for professional athletes, but I also realized that they were just men with families, also.

Could you just describe what this year has been like for you. A lot of people thought you would be here maybe this year.

PRESTON WILSON: It's been a strange year, to be honest with you. There were a lot of things that I never thought would happen. But I think to go through what I went through this year, to have a situation where I was actually released and then now to be able to play in the post-season, I definitely wouldn't have seen that coming.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.