I can’t recall a mid-May career curtain call like this one for Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood, who made the decision to retire from baseball at close of business today, and then pitched to one more batter, striking him out. The hug with his son brought a few tears to my eyes.
Wood retires at 34, 14 years after, by the measure of Bill James’ game scores, he delivered the greatest pitching performance in history.
“It’s just time,” Wood said after the game. “It was time. We saw how things were going this year and just not being able to recover and bounce back and do my job, essentially. You know, do what I’m supposed to do, day in and day out. Just the grind of getting ready every day. To go through it, hours to get ready for fifteen pitches and go out there and not be successful.
“You know it was just time, time to give someone else a chance.”