Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Memories of Kerry Wood

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What comes to mind first?

The 20 strikeouts of Houston? The countless stints on the DL? The alleged smashing of Sosa's boombox? The '98 Rookie of the Year award? Helping lead the Cubs to the '03 NLCS? Failing in the NLCS?

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The eight trips to the D.L.

All i can say is i hope he dose good and recovers where ever he goes he has stayed w/ us through thick and thin taking pay cuts and all!!!Ill never forget 20 strikeouts!!!Good Luck Kerry!!!well never forget ya!!!

game 3 -NLCS 2003. how about the Ruthian blast he sent 20 rows up in Atlanta.

What comes to mind for me is the modern day Mr. Cub. This guy was so loyal to this team, this city, and this franchise, and I absolutely cannot believe he is gone.

Over the years we have paid him a ton of money when he wasn't healthy. And now, that he is healthy and is cheaper, we let him go. Makes no sense.

We once paid him 13 million dollars one year when he was injured. So a note to Jim Hendry, this guy doesn't need any more money. To say that we let him go because he deserved more money is just insane.

Our bullpen is now in trouble, and there are many cubs fans with broken hearts, including this one.

I'll remember Wood during the Cubs' division-winning summer of 2003. I was in a sports bar, watching him start against the Cardinals in a game at Wrigley Field. Everything was fine for a while, then Wood got wild and eventually gave up a grand-slam home run.

In a post-game interview Wood kept making the point that he lost his slider; he couldn't get his slider to work.

All of a sudden the guy seated next to me in the sports bar started yelling at the T.V.,"For God's sake, why don't you go back to that two o'clock bar I saw you in this morning? Maybe THEN you'll find your slider!"

The point is that Wood never took care of his physical self. It is alleged he had a drinking problem, and his desire to seek medical help outside the Cubs organization is well known. So Wood's up-and-down career with the Cubs could be nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Very sad to think Kerry Wood will no longer be a Cub. Can only thank him and wish him the best (he deserves it). Kerry always had a great heart and was a special player. He and his wife were also good citizens and active in a number of worth childrens charities; the City will miss them. I raise a glass to you, Kerry! You will be missed. Thanks for the memories.

I will always remember Kerry Wood as having the best stuff of any pitcher i have ever seen. Ron Santo always said Kerry Wood needed to hold back and learn to pitch instead of just throw. Kerry Wood never did. He threw the ball by batters and made them look silly with his breaking ball. He once got Barry Bonds at the height of his slugging career to swing at a breaking ball that hit him. I have more respect for Kerry Wood than any other baseball player i have ever seen play and as a life long wrigleyville resident i will always consider him an honored guest in our slice of baseball heaven.

The Yankee Game, in 03, He got his 50th win. and the stands shook. Best game I ever went to


I would say the Cubs just cursed themselves but it might be a little too late to talk about the Cubs and curses.

It wasn't supposed to happen this way. Wood was supposed to be the one with the ball in his hand closing out the final game of the World Series. When Wood became the closer it was like it was meant to be and not even history could stand in their way. Until it did. Thats how I saw it and I think how most Cubs fans saw it happening this past season.

For me, Kerry Wood is the reason I became a Cubs fan. Even as a young fan growing up I always thought there was something special about Wood whenever he took the mound and I hated to miss a game when he had the ball. The way the fans still get energized by his presence even this late in his career and after all the injuries is really unique. The story of his career is by no means perfect but his perseverance has been something to admire. His legacy as a Cub is firmly in place and he will always have a special place in the hearts of Cubs nation.

Kerry Wood is the embodiment of all of my Cubs' frustrations. What started out to be so promising a career with his 20 K game vs. Houston was overshadowed by his failure in the '03 NLCS. I felt if he would have defeated the Marlins in that game, the Cubs would have gone on to become World Champions over the Yankees. Yes, before the Red Sox, before the White Sox, it would have been the Cubs ending their long drought. They would have been the first of the trilogy of long suffering fans in reverse order from oldest to newest in ending their long wait. However, it was not to be and as a Cubs fan I am still waiting.

What hurts the most is that Kerry was a stand-up guy and you just so wanted to see him overcome his adversities since 2003 and make it to the promised land in a Cubs uniform. It just wasn't meant to be like so many other stories over the past hundred years.

Kerry I wish you well. May you one day get a World Series ring, but not until after our beloved Cubs do.

My favorite Kerry Wood moment was 03 playoff run. Woody pithed his heart out for the city,the francise,and most important the fans.It did not matter who the Braves threw at him he was not going to lose those games.I also will remember after we won the division 07 when Ronnie Santo gave Kerry a big hug durring the celabration and said "Im so happy that this kid is here and contributing to this run." Kerry Wood will be greatly missed and I personaly wish him and his family the best of luck ware ever the go,and maybe one day Woody will pith for us one more time before it's all said and done,it worked for Greg Maddux.

What I'll mainly remember about Kerry is what a true Chicagoan he was. His name, face, and iconic presence as a sports legend in the town is the sort of thing most athletes can only aspire to. That is...he was loved not just for his incredible sports achievements (especially those of his rookie year and his return to form as a solid closer), but also for his devotion to the city he came to know, love, and embrace as his new and only real home. Kerry was adored by most of the city in large part because of WHO he was...not just WHAT he did; although his charitable contributions to the city and many of its foundations also helped a great deal. To see him leave is to lose another Chicago sports legend the likes of which we may not see for quite some time, at least not when it comes to North-side baseball.

Farewell, Kerry...I wish you nothing but success and happiness wherever you go. And I look forward to the day when you are able to return to the city you and I both truly love; Sweet Home Chicago.

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