Found May 21, 2012 on The Diamond's Edge:

Pitcher Kerry Wood retired Saturday after 13+ seasons in the majors, 12 of them spent with the Chicago Cubs. Wood is best known for his 20-strikeout game against the Astros in 1998, which earned him the nickname “Kid K”. Only the third player in history to do so (Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson), Wood accomplished the feat in only his fifth career start at the age of 20. Many people (including myself) consider it to be the greatest pitching performance of all time.

Wood reportedly planned to retire after Friday’s game against theWhite Sox, and had expressed that he wanted to pitch one last time before retiring. Cubs bench coach Jamie Quirk, who took over managerial duties after Dale Sveum was ejected, granted Wood’s wish in the 8th inning when he came in to relieve starter Jeff Samardzija. You couldn’t have asked for a better finish. Living up to his nickname, Wood struck out Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo on three straight pitches before receiving a monstrous standing ovation from Cubs fans. Teammates congratulated him as he walked off the mound one last time. He tipped his cap to the Wrigley faithful on the way back to the dugout, where he was greeted with a hug from his 6 year old son.

As a Cubs fan myself, it’s hard to see Wood go. He never really lived up to expectations, yet he is revered among Cubs fans. Although I was a child, I can still remember watching his 20-strikeout game, my grandmother and I cheering all the while. At the time, I had little idea how monumental the feat was. I just knew that my team did really good that day and it was because of Kerry Wood. But in some way, that game helped develop the love I have for baseball today. I had always liked it and played it, but never fully understood or respected it. After finally realizing that I had just witnessed something really special, I wanted more. I found myself spending countless afternoons watching the Cubs with my grandmother (who usually spent most of the game cursing them for “missing that goddamn ground ball”, or their pitcher for “having his head up his ass”). I would get especially excited when I would see number 34 of the mound. What started as a mild interest for me had blossomed into a strong love.

Fourteen years later, I’m watching Wood pitch for the last time and I’m just as giddy as when I was a child. Though his career is over, his legacy as a Cub lives forever.

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