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.


Kerry Wood: Portrait of Cubness

Kerry Wood isn't the greatest pitcher ever to take the mound at Wrigley Field. Well, for one day (just over two hours, really) he was. But now that his career is over, it's impossible to look at his final statistical tally and consider him a truly great pitcher. He sure did give us reason to [...]

Cubs' Kerry Wood returns to Wrigley to say goodbye

Kerry Wood was in a coat and tie rather than a baseball uniform as he stood at home plate at Wrigley Field on Saturday and thanked many people for his 14 years in the major leagues. Wood, who retired after Friday's game, will likely join the Chicago Cubs in another role after taking some time off to spend with his family. Wood, who struck out 20 batters as a rookie in 1998...

Cubs' Wood says goodbye at Wrigley

Kerry Wood was in a coat and tie rather than a baseball uniform as he stood at home plate at Wrigley Field on Saturday and thanked many people for his 14 years in the major leagues. Wood, who retired after Friday's game, will likely join the Chicago Cubs in another role after taking some time off to spend with his family. Wood, who struck out 20 batters in one game as a rookie...

Kerry Wood Never Fulfilled Expectations, But Handled Injury-Plagued Career With Professionalism

Kerry Wood started his career with a strikeout. So it was only fitting the Cubs pitcher finished his career with one. By striking out Dayan Viciedo on a breaking ball, Wood put the bow on a rollercoaster career -- one that was marred by injuries. The 34-year-old officially called it quits on Saturday, when he formally announced his retirement from baseball. When Wood was promoted...

The Highs And Lows of Kerry Wood’s Career

Chris Jaffe does an excellent job highlighting the best and worst of Kerry Wood's career on The Hardball Times. It's a long list and a fun read. I'll quote one here. May 11, 1998: Following up his 20-K game, Wood fans 13 batters, giving him a record-tying 33 strikeouts in two consecutive appearances. I was [...]

Go To Wrigley Field This Summer (Ode to Cubs Kerry Wood)

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What Kerry Wood’s Retirement Really Means

Kerry Wood retired on Friday, marking the end of an era -- but not a very good one.

Kerry Wood’s legacy: one of unfulfilled promise

    On April 12, 1998 Kerry Wood made his major league debut for the Chicago Cubs against the Montreal Expos at age twenty. Twenty-four days later Wood took the mound at Wrigley Field and put on a show for the ages. He threw a complete game, zero walk, one-hit shutout with 20 strikeouts (breaking [...]

Video: Eddie Vedder and Chris Chelios Sing “The Weight” in Chicago Bar While Kerry Wood Offers Support

Last week Kerry Wood announced that he would be retiring mid-season, but it doesn’t seem like Wood has truly left Chicago for good. Sunday night Kerry Wood was seen with Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder and former Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wing defenseman Chris Chelios at Stanley’s Kitchen and Tap in Chicago where Vedder and Chelios sung karaoke while Wood stood...

Retired Cubs ace Kerry Wood confirms that he’s headed to the team’s front office.

CHICAGO- For a pitcher that at one point delivered some of the hottest stuff that the MLB has seen over the past 15 years, Kerry Wood seemed to be one step away from immortality. His career runs semi-parallel to the NFL’s Dan Marino in the sense that he was physically gifted, did some amazing thing and sputtered out down the last leg of his career only to never win a championship...

Rich Hill Gives Teammate's Perspective on Great Career of Kerry Wood (Video)

"Dominating" is the word that Red Sox pitcher Rich Hill used to describe former teammate Kerry Wood before injuries affected his pitching career. Wood's retirement was one of the highlights of the weekend. The Chicago Cubs pitcher bowed out after 16 years in Major League Baseball, most of them with Chicago. Hill played with the Cubs and Wood from 2005 to 2008. He talks...

The 5 Biggest “What Ifs” in Blackhawks History

In the wake of Kerry Wood announcing his retirement from the Chicago Cubs, fans have engaged in a number of discussions surrounding Chicago sports. Should the Cubs retire Wood’s number? Why can’t Sox fans respect his career? And, perhaps the … Continue reading →

Going Out Like He Should

With the Yankees playing the Reds this past weekend, I was fortunate enough to spend the past three days with the Reds TV and radio broadcast teams.  I'll tell you what, they do it right.  They aren't blind and blatant homers like that cum-gurgling asshole that does radio for the Tribe or the *********** that the Yankees have.  Marty and Thom and Brantley and George Grande...
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