Charlie Tilson is back on the road to the show.
The New Trier High School alumnus recently inked a minor-league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, giving the former second-round draft pick another swing at the major leagues.
A native of Wilmette, Tilson smacked a walk-off single for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies’ Triple A affiliate, on June 23.
Tilson is off to a solid start since joining the organization. Through six game, he is batting .286 with a .385 on-base percentage. He has driven in three runs while stealing two bases.
Before getting the opportunity with another big-league organization, Tilson spent time this year with the Long Island Ducks of the Independent Atlantic League and the Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League.
As previously reported by The Record, Tilson secured a coaching position at Northwestern University in late 2020. The Wildcats’ baseball program featured two former Trevians, as Tilson joined friend and mentor Dusty Napoleon, son of longtime New Trier coach Mike Napoleon and a former professional catcher in the Oakland A’s organization.
Tilson, who was named the 2011 Gatorade Illinois Player of the Year, was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the second round as an 18 year old. He opted to sign with the organization and forgo a full athletic scholarship to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The Cardinals traded Tilson to the Chicago White Sox in mid-2016. Tilson debuted with the White Sox that same year, knocking his first career hit in August against the Detroit Tigers in his first major-league game. But, in the same game, the outfielder suffered a season-ending hamstring injury.
In 2017, Tilson broke his foot and missed the entire season.
After spending some time with the big-league club in both 2018 and 2019, the White Sox to the minors, and Tilson chose to become a free agent.
The former standout Trevian signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in late January prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tilson was released later that year, in large part due to the uncertainty of the MLB season given the pandemic.
“It was a difficult journey, but every bit worth it,” Tilson previously told The Record. “I wouldn’t change a thing. I would have loved to play for longer, but it’s been a hell of a ride.”
The 28-year-old outfielder hopes to carve out a place in a Phillies’ outfield that has struggled to find consistent depth this season.
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Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.