Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 5/18/12

Big news out of Chicago, as Cubs reliever Kerry Wood will be retiring today. Wood hasn't been healthy all season, and it appears that the 34 year-old just can't take it anymore.

Wood first gained acclaim with the Cubs as a starting pitcher, striking out a record 20 hitters in a start in his 1998 rookie year. That game is generally regarded as the best pitched game of all-time, as he allowed just one hit and hit a batter in the complete game shutout against the Astros. The game on May 6th, 1998 was just his sixth career start, and Wood was only 20 years-old. He'd go on to win the Rookie of the Year award in 1998.

Wood missed all of 1999, but was relatively healthy as a starter over the next five years with the Cubs. He struck out a batter per inning during that span, and was a ridiculously hard thrower. Wood only made ten starts (in 21 games) in 2005, and just four starts in 2006. When he returned for 22 games in 2007, it was as a reliever. He was the Cubs closer in 2008, and saved 34 games while striking out 84 in 66 1/3 innings. He signed as a free agent with the Indians after 2008, and saved 20 games for the Tribe. He was dealt to the Yankees in the middle of 2010, and served as a set-up man for Mariano Rivera. He returned to the Cubs for 2011 and served as a set-up man for Carlos Marmol.

This season, Wood had thrown just 8 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking 11. He had an 8.64 ERA, and had dealt with injuries. For his career, Wood struck out 10.31 batters per nine innings, the second highest rate of all-time, behind just Randy Johnson. He's pretty good. Wood made just over $70 million during his career, and accrued 23.4 fWAR.

Wood had himself a great career, and is a cautionary tale of what can happen when you overwork a young arm. It really makes you wonder what could have happened if Wood had never gotten hurt in 1999.

Photo courtesy of Daylife.com

[follow]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Winners and losers from Monday Night Football in Week 6

Aaron Judge finally doesn’t strike out, crushes three-run home run

Pandora offers LeBron James premium subscription after funny comments

Eight things the college football polls got wrong for Week 8

Top storyline for each NBA team heading into the season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Derek Carr: Raiders' struggles 'my fault'

Ed Orgeron not too pumped to face former school Ole Miss

Nuggets to sign Richard Jefferson, waive Jameer Nelson

Dirk Koetter 'extremely' concerned about 2016 1st-rounder, Vernon Hargreaves

Former teammate on Andrew Luck: 'He's not close, in my mind'

Joe Maddon delivers classic quote about not pitching Wade Davis in Game 2

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

What's trending up, down so far in the NFL

Three Up, Three Down: Divisional Series brings both luck and heartbreak

The 'Adrian Peterson hopes to rise from the ashes in Phoenix' quiz

College football 2017 Week 7 predictions

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

NFL Week 6 predictions

The 'Help wanted: Supervising manager' quiz

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

Three Up, Three Down: Divisional Series brings both luck and heartbreak

The 'Adrian Peterson hopes to rise from the ashes in Phoenix' quiz

What's trending up, down so far in the NFL

NFL Week 6 predictions

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker