It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball watching Kerry Wood pitch. Limitless talent, high character, endless injuries, Chicago Cub and all the agony that entails.
I went to Wrigley Field to watch Kerry Wood pitch in his rookie year of 1998, went back in 2000 to see his first start after the arm injury that kept him out for all of 1999. A year and a half on the shelf, and he defeated the Astros in that first appearance back, giving up only one run in six innings, hitting a home run just for good measure. I watched every pitch of his absolute domination of the Braves in the 2003 NL division series, I skipped work on opening day one year to eat pizza and watch Wood defeat the Reds despite giving up four runs. I watched him come back from injury after injury, his transition to a closer, his brief stint with the Indians and Yankees, and his return to the Cubs, where he functioned as a very solid reliever.