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Kerry Wood finishes career with a strikeout at Wrigley Field

May 18, 2012, 4:42 PM EST

Screen Shot 2012-05-18 at 3.41.07 PM

Kerry Wood wanted to make one final appearance at Wrigley Field this afternoon before announcing his retirement and it couldn’t have been scripted much better for the longtime Cub.

Wood came into a 3-2 game with one out in the eighth inning and struck out Dayan Viciedo on three pitches, the first of which was a 95-mph fastball and the last of which was a 76-mph breaking ball in the dirt that the White Sox outfielder couldn’t help but swing through.

It was pretty close to vintage Wood, or at least close enough that it was tough not to think “wait, this guy is retiring?!”

Wood, who shook the bullpen coach’s hand before coming into the game, was removed after fittingly finishing his career with a strikeout and tipped his cap to the fans giving him a standing ovation. And then his young son ran onto the field to give him a hug.

Helluva scene for a helluva career.

UPDATE: Here’s the MLB.com video of Wood’s final appearance and dramatic exit.

  1. goawaydog - May 18, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Simply awesome. Thats leaving the game the right way.

    • proudlycanadian - May 18, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      Agreed!

  2. diehardcubbiefan4life - May 18, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    No words for the scene after the K. Simply surreal. Way to end it in style Woody

  3. larryboodry - May 18, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Not ashamed to say I’m a bit misty-eyed…Thanks Kerry for a wonderful career!

  4. hiltonandastoria - May 18, 2012 at 5:06 PM

  5. diehardcubbiefan4life - May 18, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    GTFO.

    • kiwicricket - May 18, 2012 at 6:22 PM

      Glad you took time out from kicking your cat and throwing stones at squirrels in the park, to write such a thing.

    • kiwicricket - May 18, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      Glad you took time out from kicking your cat and throwing stones at squirrels in the park, to write such a thing. Thanks.

    • skol22 - May 18, 2012 at 8:51 PM

      you GTFO. loser.

      • diehardcubbiefan4life - May 18, 2012 at 11:56 PM

        Sorry, there was some troll who was saying that he was overrated and he was only known for his 20K game. He must have deleted his comment. My bad

    • Francisco (FC) - May 19, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      I thought you meant to say GTFO as in surprise, like “No way dude! He retired?”

  6. stabonerichard - May 18, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    That’s freakin cool. Love this game.

  7. Gobias Industries - May 18, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    The man sure knows how to leave a field, doesn’t he? One week he’s throwing his glove into the stands and now this. At least he didn’t throw his son into the stands today because that probably would’ve soured the moment a bit.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 18, 2012 at 6:41 PM

      Put your animosity away for just today. He’s a classy guy who made a mistake that day, as we all have.

      Thanks for everything, Kerry. You’ll be sorely missed.

      • Gobias Industries - May 18, 2012 at 8:18 PM

        No animosity here. I sincerely thought it was a nice way to end his career. But you’re right, we all make mistakes – mine was telling a lame joke. Oops.

      • Francisco (FC) - May 19, 2012 at 3:52 PM

        Even Pierzynski was clapping man.

  8. 66orioles - May 18, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    It was a memorable moment to see. If a tear didn’t come to your eye after the K and the greeting from his son then you sir have no human heart.

    Right up there with Gerhig at Yankee Stadium and Ripken’s walk around Camden Yards.

  9. chiadam - May 18, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Some Cubs fans (not me) spent the better part of this season kicking Wood around and cursing his existence. Now he’s gone. Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.

  10. hawksfanik1 - May 18, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    do you think the cubs will retire his number?

  11. SmackSaw - May 18, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Best retirement moment ever. Ted Williams shoulda went out like that.

    • mikeo76 - May 18, 2012 at 6:54 PM

      So, Smack Saw, hitting a HR on your last at-bat doesn’t qualify? What planet do you live on?

      • jwbiii - May 19, 2012 at 12:48 AM

        The manufacturer recommends changing the batteries in your sarcasm detector twice a year.

      • SmackSaw - May 19, 2012 at 11:51 AM

        Splinter shoulda tipped his hat and celebrated with the crowd.

  12. hojo20 - May 18, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    That video cleared out my tear ducts.

  13. dawglb - May 18, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Reality, in this case, was as good as fiction. Nice story. Great way to go out.

  14. lostsok - May 18, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Nice to see him end that way. Picture perfect.

  15. sleepyirv - May 18, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    The retirement of my boyhood baseball hero probably means my baseball youth is over… but it’s nice to see Wood capture “it” for the last three pitches.

  16. larryboodry - May 18, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    @Gobias Industries…I hit the dislike button on your first comment before reading your clarification…My apologies!

  17. larryboodry - May 18, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Forgive me for expounding some more, but here goes…Thank you, Kerry Wood, for your class and integrity all these years, through good times and bad, and battling back from adversity…The Cubs and their fans will always appreciate your contributions to the city on and off the field.

    Stay classy Kerry Wood.

  18. themohel - May 19, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Kerry Wood was “The Natural.” While he was not shot by one of his fans, he was derailed for a long time by the injury gods. But he came back and showed us some of what might have been. He was able to transition from a dominant starter to a relief guy after all his injuries. He did this without ever appearing jaded or angry at the loss of his immense talent. That is a rare feat, and something that can be used to teach our kids how to handle the disappointments of life. Thanks for that, Woody.

  19. larryboodry - May 19, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    @diehardcubbiefan4life…Ah, that explains it…From reading your posts over time, I did not understand your apparent animosity toward Kerry…Glad you cleared that up, and that the troll seems to have faded away.

  20. stiefert - May 19, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    As a Cardinals fan, I have to say congratulations to Kerry Wood on a great career and a great finish to it. He has always been a tough competitor and has always been a great professional.

    Well done, Kerry. I hope nothing but the best for you and your family in your post MLB career.

    • florida727 - May 19, 2012 at 6:50 AM

      I’m sorry, but what kind of an idiot thumbs-downs a comment when a rival fan puts aside his rooting interest to wish a competitor, and his family, nothing but the best post-MLB career (and compliments him in the process for being a great professional and competitor)? Thanks “stiefert”. Well stated.

  21. proudliberal85392 - May 20, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Another case of “What might have been.” Even with all the injuries, Wood was a good one who deserves nothing but best wishes for his post-baseball life.

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