June 16th, 2012

June 16 – Happy Birthday Kerry Wood

It did not take long after the Yankees picked up Kerry Wood from the Indians in July of 2010 for me to become a fan of the 1998 NL Rookie of the Year. The big right-hander pitched lights out baseball during the final two months of that season, permitting just two earned runs in the 26 innings he pitched wearing pinstripes. His stuff was electric during that spell and the only weakness he exhibited during his short stay in New York was a tendency to encounter streaks of wildness. I was really hoping the Yankees would sign him to a new contract. He was coming off a huge $20 million two year deal he had signed with the Indians so I could understand the Yankees reluctance to get into a bidding war for a 13-year veteran with a history of DL stays. That’s why I was shocked when Wood signed with the Cubs for just $1.5 million that December and even more shocked when New York then paid Rafael Soriano $35 million over three years to basically replace Wood as the Yankee’s eighth inning bridge to Mo Rivera. According to press reports I read at the time, Wood made the decision to return to the Windy City and the big league team he started with after attending the funeral of Cub great, Ron Santo. He is revered in Chicago and he keeps his family home there. Wood pitched well for a very bad Cubs’ team last season, but recurring blistering problems on his pitching hand prevented him from displaying the type of dominance he had shown in pinstripes. He tried to play again this season but after nine appearances he told the Cubs front office he was through. He then made one final ceremonial appearance against the cross town White Sox a few days later and ended his big league career by striking out Dayan Viciedo on three straight pitches.

Wood was born on July 16, 1977 in Irving, TX. This other former Yankee reliever and this former Yankee right fielder were also born on today’s date .

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2010 NYY 2 0 1.000 0.69 24 0 1 0 0 0 26.0 14 2 2 1 18 31 1.231
14 Yrs 86 75 .534 3.67 446 178 138 11 5 63 1380.0 1083 599 563 148 666 1582 1.267
CHC (12 yrs) 80 68 .541 3.67 341 178 69 11 5 35 1279.0 1000 556 521 137 609 1470 1.258
CLE (2 yrs) 4 7 .364 4.80 81 0 68 0 0 28 75.0 69 41 40 10 39 81 1.440
NYY (1 yr) 2 0 1.000 0.69 24 0 1 0 0 0 26.0 14 2 2 1 18 31 1.231
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/16/2013.