The lady in the khaki-colored Caddy is dangling a fat $2 tip in front of Glenn Wilson.
"Thanks ma'am," he says, "but I really couldn't take it."
"Listen, you just changed my oil, filled my gas tank and cleaned my windshield. You've earned it."
"No, ma'am. It just wouldn't be right."
"Save your tips, son, and you'll be as rich as the ballplayer who owns this station."
"I am the ballplayer who owns this station."
"Then why the hell are you pumping gas?"
"Baseball is my hobby. This is my job."
Wilson's $750,000-a-year hobby, playing rightfield for the Pirates, makes him perhaps the world's wealthiest gas station attendant. His job during the off-season is running Glenn Wilson's Hit-and-Run Exxon in Montgomery, Texas, the only full-service station between Navasota and Conroe. "We've got everything from a hydraulic lift to a custom wheel changer to a pinup calendar," Wilson says. The only thing missing is a rest-room key chained to a 60-pound log.
"I've dreamed of having my own station ever since I was eight years old," says Wilson, 30, who used to pinch-pump for his older brother Johnie at Bo Simmons's Exxon in Channel-view, Texas. The Tigers fueled Wilson's dream when they drafted him out of Sam Houston State in 1980. They signed him as a third baseman, but 33 errors in half a season of Double A ball convinced them that his super-unleaded arm would suffer fewer knocks and pings in the outfield. His buddy Mike Schmidt now calls Wilson one of the top three rightfielders in the National League. "All right, the top five," Schmidt concedes. "O.K., so maybe the top 10. But write the top three. It sounds better."