Kerry Wood Hanging Up His Cleats
Cubs’ relief pitcher Kerry Wood is expected to announce his retirement this weekend. He wants to pitch in one last game before he does. He has struggled this season, and has been plagued by injuries over the years. Wood, who turns 35 in June, debuted on April 12, 1998.
In an era where heroes are hard to find, Wood tied Roger Clemens for the major league record of twenty strikeouts in a nine-inning game on May 6, 1998. He earned the 1998 National League Rookie of the Year Award. He recorded over two hundred strikeouts in four out of his first five seasons, with a high of two hundred sixty-six in 2003 and a record of 14-11 and earned run average of 3.20. He is a two time All-Star (2003, 2008). He earned two wins in the Divisional Series against the Atlanta Braves and was the starting pitcher in Game 3 of the 2003 National League Championship Series, which the Cubs won in extra innings. He currently has 63 saves. He was the fastest to reach one thousand strikeouts in 134 games.
Wood played a few years on the Indians and the Yankees. Always a fan favorite, Wood re-signed with the Cubs after the passing of Cubs legend Ron Santo in 2010. He has always felt at home in Chicago and wanted to keep his family there, so he reportedly turned down higher offers from other teams.
Wood co-authored a new book with Cubs beat writer Carrie Muskat called All You Can Be: Learning and Growing through Sports (Triumph Books). The book is due out June 1 st. It is illustrated by elementary school students in the Chicagoland area. He shares valuable life lessons he learned and offers advice to children meant to improve their lives. Some of these include: the importance of education, the importance of family and friends, working hard to attain goals, building character, and the positive power of laughter.
He will have more time to devote to his charity. The Wood Family Foundation raises funds for children’s charities in the Chicago area. It also sponsors drives for school supplies, clothing, and toys for children in need. He will be able to spend more time with wife Sarah, and his three children Justin, Katie, and Charlotte.
Best wishes to Wood in retirement and thanks for the memories!