Kerry Wood Retires

The Game We Will Never Forget-Kerry Wood 20 K's

5/18/12 in MLB   |   Fishchick17   |   36 respect

April 5, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kerry Wood (34) delivers a pitch during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals on opening day at Wrigley Field.  Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIREOn May 6, 1998, my husband and I played hookey from work, went to Wrigley, bought cheap tickets from a scalper on the street and thought we would watch a Cubs game, have a hot dog and just enjoy the day. Unfortunately, the weather was crummy-it was misting, gray and cloudy-not ideal conditions for a day of hookey. But we decided it would be fun.

Sitting down the first-base line the game began. A young pitcher named Kerry Wood was starting his fifth game. He was 20 years old and had a fastball that was unbelievable-so we were told. Only the die-hards hung out that day. Those looking for the sun, the singles or the atmosphere left before the game had even begun. But we stayed. I'm not sure why, but I am suer glad that we did.

Wood began pitching-and started the game with 5 strikeouts. As the game continued, the guys in the bleachers were tracking the strikeouts and after each one, the giant "K" was flipped. By mid-game, there seemed to be an awful lots of K's flapping in the wind. Not sure completely of what was going on, my husband and I started moving up, talking to season ticket holders, die-hards who knew every baseball stat-and understood the history we were witnessing.

Finishing the game with eight of nine strikeouts, for a record-tying 20 strikeouts in a game, w\Wood had thrown the game of his life. No one knew it at that time. WE all thought there would be many, many more years of greatness to follow. 

On that day, May, 6, 1998, Kerry Wood was just a 20-year-old kid who had pitched the game of his life, and seemed genuinely embarrassed by the standing ovation when no one wanted to leave the stands. He tipped his hat, came out of the dugout, and became the Cubs hope for future greatness.

While Wood never really exceeded the greatness from that day, due primarily to injuries, I will always have the fondest of memories of that ugly gray day when Wood threw 20 K's. No one can ever take that away. Thanks for the memories Kerry Wood. This Cubs fan is gonna miss you.
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