When he takes the mound, Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) High's Tommy Wilson -- son of Thomas F. Wilson, who played Biff Tannen in "Back to the Future" -- probably hears any number of lines from the 1985 classic emerge from the opposing dugout.
"What are you looking at, butthead?"
"Make like a tree and get outta here."
"What's wrong? Chicken?"
"Your shoes are untied."
Yet, none of that gamesmanship has stopped the high school junior from leading the Knights (16-11) to the first round of the Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. During the tournament's wild-card round on Tuesday, Wilson struck out eight over five scoreless innings in a 6-1 victory against John W. North (Riverside, Calif.) High.
"They'll quote the movie sometimes," Wilson told the L.A. Times' great Varsity Insider blog. "They try to make jokes about it and stuff, but I try not to focus on that too much."
Only, the younger Wilson is certainly no "Loser with a capital L" as Biff would say. After starting out the season as a reliever and only recently joining coach Tom Dill's starting rotation, the 6-foot-1 junior right-hander is 2-1 in nine appearances with a 1.68 ERA and 44 strikeouts against only eight walks in 33.1 innings this season.
Notre Dame is no stranger to having famous fathers in the stands. Chief among them was Antonio Fargas, better known as Huggy Bear on "Starsky and Hutch," whose son Justin played running back for the Knights and later for the Oakland Raiders.
"Fortunately, he got his mother’s athletic prowess and his father’s good looks," a somewhat disguised Thomas F. Wilson joked to Times writer Eric Sondheimer.
The elder Wilson has kept himself busy lately performing as a comedian, voicing animated characters and making cameos on shows like "Franklin & Bash" as well as films like the upcoming "Heat," starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.
It wasn't always easy stepping out from his father's shadow -- “I’ve gotten used it to over the years,” Tommy Wilson told the paper -- but the kid's making a name for himself. And at least his pitching career won't go careening into a pile of manure.
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