Baseball, a strikeout, and a little boy needing a hug

We often don’t get to determine how our final exit from our careers will go, so it was lump-in-the-throat time at Wrigley Field today when Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood announced his retirement, before making his final appearance in a game.

That game came this afternoon when Wood, who holds the single-game strikeout record, struck out the only batter he faced.

As he left the field, he was greeted at the top of the dugout steps by his son, Justin, with whom he’d shagged fly balls in the outfield before the game.

  • Mary

    Thanks for posting this. I’m a transplanted Chicagoan. I wasn’t watching in 1998 when Kerry started his career, didn’t see his famous 20-strikeout game. But I was watching in 2003 when he and Mark Prior were the Cubs’ ace starters, intimidating as hell, taking them to the playoffs and almost to the World Series. (That was the year of the “Bartman ball”.) I was angry when the Cubs let him go to the Indians and very happy when he came back, even if he wasn’t an ace anymore by then. He came back because he loved Chicago. And fans loved him in return. So glad he got to retire as a Cub.

    Looking at that hug makes his departure a little less sad for me. Obviously, he’ll be okay. Good luck in everything you do, Kerry!