Irving, Texas native Kerry Wood will retire from Major League Baseball, according to multiple sources breaking the story Friday morning. Wood's career began as the stuff of legends - his 20-strikeout game in 1999 and his then-astonishing contract created a buzz, while his work on the hill pushed the Cubs through four playoff runs, including the 2003 team that went to the NLCS (Wood had two key wins against Atlanta in the NLDS that season).
But injuries marred what was supposed to be a surefire Hall of Fame career. Wood's arm failed him, he became a closer in the Chicago bullpen, and briefly pitched for Cleveland before returning to the Cubs on a tiny deal in 2011, but his 2012 season began with a blown save and a loss, and then things got worse (courtesy ESPN):
The low point came on May 8 when a frustrated Wood tossed his cap and glove into the stands as he was walking to the dugout after being pulled by Cubs manager Dale Sveum. Wood walked two batters and gave up two runs in the eighth inning that allowed the Atlanta Braves to break a tie game and eventually go on to a victory.
The normally accommodating Wood cut his postgame interview short and walked away when a reporter asked him about the incident after the game.
Like so much of the Cubs lore, Wood's time at Wrigley will be cherished, despite its flawed final value.