Year Inducted – 2018
Wilmer was born September 5th 1962 in Yauco, Puerto Rico. His mother was only 17 and his dad was working on the mainland US so he was raised by his maternal grandparents. He is the oldest of 5 siblings – 2 brothers 1 in NJ and the other in MO; 2 sisters 1 in PR and the other in Cleveland.
First time Wilmer left the island was at age 16 to play in the Little League Big League World Series for 16-18 year-olds representing Puerto Rico. He graduated from Yauco High School in 1981 and signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees. The New York Mets wanted to sign him too when he was 16 but his Grandfather wouldn’t let him.
After 8 years in the minor leagues with the New York Yankees, New York Mets and the Chicago White Sox he decided to hang up his cleats. He started a lawn business in Bradenton Florida and worked that for 5 years. Wilmer also worked for the Manatee County Sheriff’s office for a short period of time. He was hired so he could play for their softball team in the Florida Law Enforcement Olympics!
His son Jordan and daughter Jessica were born in 1986 and 1991 respectively while he still lived in Florida. When they were 6 and 2 they left Florida and headed for the mountains of N.C. where they could stay with his in-laws and attend college. Wilmer ultimately graduated from Western Carolina University (1999) with a Bachelor of Science in Education (Spanish & P.E.).
After college he decided to move to Ohio to be near extended family. He has worked as a teacher in the Coventry Local School District for 19 years, 18 teaching Spanish to grades 8-12 and 1 year teaching PE to grades K-2.
Wilmer has coached 15 years – 2 at the JV level and 13 years at the Varsity level, 1 year at Lake High School and 14 years at Coventry High School.
They were surprised in 2003 when God blessed them with a daughter, Jaeden. In 2016 he became a grandfather to their grandson, Lorenzo and granddaughter, Charlotte.
In his spare time Wilmer enjoys working in his yard (a holdout from his years cutting grass in Florida he suspects), watching Jeopardy with his daughter, playing with his grandkids and of course playing baseball. Over the years since he retired from baseball, he has played softball or baseball wherever he has lived, most recently playing with a great group of guys on the Wolfdogs in the Roy Hobbs baseball league.
Wilmer met his wife, Lisa Arfons, in Florida at age 20 and they were married less than a year later. This December 2018 they will celebrate 35 years of marriage!