Born in Bamberg, South Carolina, Wilson played college baseball at Spartanburg Methodist College and then the University of South Carolina. Later, in 1996, he earned a bachelor's degree from Mercy College in New York.
In twelve seasons, Wilson was a .274 hitter with 67 home runs, 438 RBI, and 327 stolen bases in 1403 games. Wilson held the Mets record for career stolen bases (281) and career triples (62) until Jose Reyes broke both marks during the 2008 season.
Wilson is the batter who, in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, avoided being hit by a wild pitch, allowing the tying run to score in the bottom of the 10th. His ground ball later in the same at bat went through the legs of Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, allowing the winning run to score. The ball that rolled through Buckner's legs is now housed in the Seth Swirsky baseball collection.
Wilson was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1996. In 2005, Wilson managed the single A team Brooklyn Cyclones. Previously, he managed the Rookie League Kingsport Mets team and was a coach for the New York Mets from 1997 to 2002.
In 1999, Wilson obtained a license to drive tractor-trailer trucks and began hauling freight in the offseason, a job he stated his intention to keep if and when he left professional baseball.
Mookie is both the stepfather and uncle of major league outfielder Preston Wilson. Mookie introduced Preston to baseball.
Wilson has been a resident of Lakewood Township, New Jersey.