May 20, 2012
Kerry formally announces retirement
Fourteen-season career comes to a close as a Cub
CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs right-handed pitcher Kerry Wood formally announced his retirement from baseball on Saturday, May 19, at Wrigley Field with his family by his side, ending a 14-season Major League career that began with a spot in the record books and concludes with an enduring legacy that includes not only his performance on the field but a lifelong connection with his many fans and his family's continuing relationship with the Chicago community.
Originally selected by the Cubs with the fourth overall pick of the 1995 MLB First-Year Player Draft, just days shy of his 18th birthday, Wood pitched 16 years in the organization, including the first 14 seasons through the 2008 campaign and his final two starting again in 2011. He retires with the third-most strikeouts in team history with 1,470 and as only the fourth pitcher in club history with 12 or more seasons with the franchise, joining Charlie Root (16 seasons), Guy Bush (12) and Rick Reuschel (12). Wood is one of only 14 players in club history to appear on four playoff teams.
Wood made his Major League debut April 12, 1998. At the age of 20 and five starts into his big league career, Wood etched his name in the Major League record books as the first rookie and youngest pitcher to record 20 strikeouts in a game in which he one-hit the Houston Astros on May 6 at Wrigley Field. He earned the National League Rookie of the Year Award, going 13-6 with a 3.40 ERA, and helping the Cubs to a 1998 playoff berth.
Wood, now 34 years old, retires with a career 86-75 record, 63 saves, 1,582 strikeouts and a 3.67 ERA (563 ER/1380.0) in 446 Major League appearances (178 starts), of which 341 outings came with the Cubs. He averaged 10.32 strikeouts per nine innings in his career, the second-highest total of any pitcher in Major League history behind only Randy Johnson's 10.61 mark (minimum 1,300 innings pitched).
Kerry and his wife, Sarah, will continue their work on behalf of the Wood Family Foundation, a non-profit organization they started in June 2011 that acts as an advocate for children in the Chicago community and inspires others to join them in their mission of giving children the resources they need to succeed. The Wood family has helped raise millions of dollars to improve the lives of children in and around Chicago.