Wilbur Forrester Wood, Jr. (born October 22, 1941) is an American former professional baseball player. He was a pitcher in Major League Baseball for seventeen years, most notably with the Chicago White Sox where he earned 163 of his 164 wins. A knuckleball specialist, he threw left-handed, and batted right-handed.
|Born: October 22, 1941|
|June 30, 1961, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 28, 1978, for the Chicago White Sox|
|Earned run average||3.24|
|Career highlights and awards|
In 1960, Wood was signed out of Belmont, Massachusetts high school by the Boston Red Sox. He pitched on-and-off for them for a few seasons before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in late September 1964. After two seasons with Pittsburgh, he was traded to the White Sox after the 1966 season. When he arrived, knuckleball specialist Hoyt Wilhelm advised him to use his knuckleball exclusively. Taking Wilhelm's advice, Wood's career took off, first as a relief pitcher, and then as a starting pitcher. With the White Sox, Wood became well known as a durable workhorse, and one of the last pitchers to consistently throw well over 300 innings in a season.
As a relief pitcher in 1968, Wood set the major league record (since broken) of 88 games pitched in a season. He converted to starting pitcher in 1971, and continued to display unusual durability. During the years 1971-74, Wood averaged 45 games started and 347 innings pitched, winning a total of 90 games, while losing 69. He led the American League in games started in each year from 1972 through 1975, and he was the league leader in both wins and innings pitched in 1972 and 1973. Wood finished second in the 1972 voting for the American League Cy Young Award, losing a close vote to Gaylord Perry.
Wood's resilience, which was attributed to the less stressful nature of the knuckleball delivery, led to some unusual feats of endurance. On May 28, 1973, while pitching for the White Sox against the Cleveland Indians, Wood pitched the remainder of a 21-inning carryover game that had been suspended two nights earlier, allowing only two hits in five innings to earn the victory. He then started the regularly scheduled game and pitched a four-hit complete game shutout, earning two wins in the same night. Later that season, on July 20, Wood started both ends of a doubleheader, making him the last pitcher to do so. He lost both of those games. The knuckleball is also difficult to control, and in 1977, Wood tied a record by hitting three consecutive batters in the first inning.
Wood's 1976 campaign was cut short on May 9 when a line-drive single hit by Ron LeFlore fractured his left kneecap in the sixth inning of a 4–2 White Sox victory over the Detroit Tigers at Tiger Stadium. He had surgery the next day, but the outlook was bleak. Many predicted that he would never pitch again, but after considerable rehabilitation, he did some pitching for two more seasons with the White Sox. However, he showed few signs of his former mastery. He retired in 1978, moving back to his native New England.
In a seventeen-year major league career, Wood compiled a 164-156 record with a 3.24 ERA in 661 games played. He had 1,411 strikeouts in 2,684 innings pitched. He compiled 24 shutouts and 114 complete games in 297 games started. He was also the last pitcher in American League history to win and lose 20 or more games in the same season (24-20 in 1973).
The 1961 Boston Red Sox season was the 61st season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished sixth in the American League (AL) with a record of 76 wins and 86 losses, 33 games behind the AL and World Series champion New York Yankees.1962 Boston Red Sox season
The 1962 Boston Red Sox season was the 62nd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished eighth in the American League (AL) with a record of 76 wins and 84 losses, 19 games behind the AL pennant winner and eventual World Series champion New York Yankees.1964 Boston Red Sox season
The 1964 Boston Red Sox season was the 64th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished eighth in the American League (AL) with a record of 72 wins and 90 losses, 27 games behind the AL champion New York Yankees.1964 Pittsburgh Pirates season
The 1964 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 83rd in franchise history. The team finished tied for sixth in the National League with a record of 80–82, 13 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.1965 Pittsburgh Pirates season
The 1965 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 84th season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; their 79th in the National League. The Pirates finished third in the league standings with a record of 90–72.1967 Chicago White Sox season
The 1967 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 67th season in the major leagues, and its 68th season overall. They finished with a record 89–73, good enough for fourth place in the American League, 3 games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox.1968 Chicago White Sox season
The 1968 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 68th season in the major leagues, and its 69th season overall. They finished with a record 67–95, good enough for eighth place in the American League, 36 games behind the first-place Detroit Tigers.1971 Chicago White Sox season
The 1971 Chicago White Sox season was their 72nd season overall and 71st in the American League. They finished with a record 79–83, good enough for third place in the American League West, 22½ games behind the first-place Oakland Athletics.1972 Chicago White Sox season
The 1972 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 73rd season overall, and 72nd in the American League. They finished with a record 87–67, good enough for second place in the American League West, 5½ games behind the first-place Oakland Athletics.1973 Chicago White Sox season
The 1973 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 73rd season in the major leagues, and its 74th season overall. They finished with a record 77–85, good enough for fifth place in the American League West, 17 games behind the first-place Oakland Athletics.1974 Chicago White Sox season
The 1974 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 74th season in the major leagues, and its 75th season overall. They finished with a record 80–80, good enough for fourth place in the American League West, 9 games behind the first-place Oakland Athletics.1975 Chicago White Sox season
The 1975 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 75th season in Major League Baseball, and its 76th season overall. They finished with a record 75–86, good enough for fifth place in the American League West, 22½ games behind the first-place Oakland Athletics.Dick Drago
Richard Anthony "Dick" Drago (born June 25, 1945) is a former American League relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Kansas City Royals (1969-1973), Boston Red Sox (1974-1975, 1978-1980), California Angels (1976-1977), Baltimore Orioles (1977) and Seattle Mariners (1981). He batted and threw right-handed.
In a 13-season career, Drago posted a 108-117 record with a 3.75 ERA and 58 saves in 519 appearances (189 as a starter).
Drago played high school ball for Woodward High School in Toledo, Ohio, graduating in 1963. He was originally signed by the Detroit Tigers in the 1964 amateur draft, but was selected by the Kansas City Royals during the 1968 expansion draft. He started his Major League career with the Royals in 1969, becoming the ace of their pitching staff in 1971, after going 17-11 with a 2.98 ERA, and ending fifth in the AL Cy Young Award vote behind Vida Blue, Mickey Lolich, Wilbur Wood and Dave McNally. Finishing with a 3.01 ERA in 1972, Drago went 12-17, but declined with 12-14 and 4.23 in 1973. Drago's success was somewhat remarkable, given the fact that he consistently posted relatively low strikeout numbers. As a Royal, Drago was especially prolific in terms of finishing games, and with 53 complete games, he ranks fifth in Kansas City history.
Drago also pitched for the Angels and Orioles in part of two seasons, and returned to Boston for three solid years, saving 13 games with a 10-6 record in 1979. He ended his major league career with Seattle in 1981.
On July 20, 1976, Drago gave up the last of Hank Aaron's then-major league record 755 career home runs.John Caneira
John Cascaes Caneira (born October 7, 1952) is a retired professional baseball player who played 2 seasons for the California Angels of Major League Baseball.
Caneira went to Naugatuck High School in Naugatuck, Connecticut. He went 7-0 in his senior season. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 11th round of the amateur draft. But instead chose to go to small Division III Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, Connecticut. In college, he had an overall 105-20 record.
He was selected by the California Angels in the secondary phase of the 1974 Draft. He won his first game, 6-1. Wilbur Wood took the loss for the Chicago White Sox. He had injured his rotator cuff, ending his career.List of Chicago White Sox Opening Day starting pitchers
The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Chicago. They play in the American League Central division. The White Sox have used 62 Opening Day starting pitchers since they were established as a Major League team in 1901. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The White Sox have a record of 60 wins and 53 losses in their Opening Day games, through the 2013 season.The White Sox have played in three different home ball parks. They played at South Side Park from 1901 through the middle of 1910, the first Comiskey Park from 1910 through 1990, and have played at the second Comiskey Park, now known as U.S. Cellular Field, since 1991. They had a record of four wins and two losses in Opening Day games at South Side Park, 18 wins and 19 losses at the first Comiskey Park and four wins and one loss at U.S. Cellular Field, for a total home record in Opening Day games of 27 wins and 22 losses. Their record in Opening Day away games is 33 wins and 31 losses.Mark Buehrle holds the record for making the most Opening Day starts for the White Sox, with nine. Billy Pierce had seven Opening Day starts for the White Sox, Wilbur Wood had five, Tommy Thomas and Jack McDowell each had four, and Frank Smith, Jim Scott, Lefty Williams, Sad Sam Jones, Bill Dietrich, Gary Peters and Tommy John each had three. Several Baseball Hall of Famers have made Opening Day starts for the White Sox, including Ed Walsh, Red Faber, Ted Lyons, Early Wynn and Tom Seaver.The White Sox have played in the World Series five times. They won in 1906, 1917 and 2005, and lost in 1919 and 1959. Frank Owen was the Opening Day starting pitcher in 1906, Williams in 1917 and 1919, Pierce in 1959 and Buehrle in 2005. The White Sox won all five Opening Day games in those seasons.In addition to being the White Sox' Opening Day starter in 1917 and 1919, Williams was also the Opening Day starter in 1920. However, he was suspended from the team later in the season and then banned from baseball for life for his role in throwing the 1919 World Series. Ed Cicotte, who had been the White Sox' 1918 Opening Day starter, was also banned from baseball as a result of his actions during the 1919 World Series. Ken Brett's Opening Day start on April 7, 1977 against the Toronto Blue Jays was the first game in Blue Jays' history. The Blue Jays won the game 9–5.List of Chicago White Sox team records
This is a list of team records for the Chicago White Sox professional baseball team.List of knuckleball pitchers
Knuckleball pitchers are baseball players who rely on the knuckleball as their primary pitch, or pitch primarily based on their ability to throw a knuckleball. The inventor of the knuckleball has never been established, although several pitchers from the early 20th century have been credited. Baseball statistician and historian Rob Neyer named four individuals in an article he wrote in the 2004 book The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers as potentially deserving credit, any of whom may have originated the pitch in either the 1907 or 1908 seasons. Nap Rucker of the Brooklyn Dodgers came up to the majors in 1907, initially throwing hard stuff but later switching to the knuckleball. A 1908 article credited Lew Moren as the inventor of the pitch. Ed Cicotte earned a full-time spot with the Detroit Tigers in 1908, earning the nickname "Knuckles" for his signature pitch. A picture of Ed Summers showed him gripping what he called a "dry spitter" using a variation of the knuckleball grip using the knuckles of his index and middle fingers.Unlike almost every other pitch in baseball, the knuckleball's erratic trajectory has often required teams to use dedicated catchers, often using specialized mitts, to field the deliveries. Clint Courtney used a specially constructed catcher's mitt, about 50% larger than the conventional mitts used at the time, to catch knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm during a game in May 1960. Umpire Al Smith credited the use of the glove with preventing three or four passed balls in that one game. The lower velocity of the knuckleball is credited with giving some who use it the ability to pitch more often and to sustain pitching careers far longer than those who rely on their fastball to get outs. Tim Wakefield pitched on consecutive days, when most starting pitchers in the 21st century throw after four days of rest. Hoyt Wilhelm pitched until he was almost 50 and Phil Niekro used the pitch until he was 48. Wakefield retired at 45.
The prevalence of the knuckleballer has varied over time. The 1945 Washington Senators finished 1½ games out of first place with a starting pitching staff that almost exclusively used the pitch, with four knuckleballers in the rotation. That season, the team's three catchers — regular catcher Rick Ferrell and backups Al Evans and Mike Guerra — combined for 40 passed balls, more than double that of any other team in the league.Baseball funnyman Bob Uecker, who was Phil Niekro's personal catcher with the Braves in 1967, has been quoted as saying "The way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until it stops rolling, then go pick it up."Wilbur Wood, Joe Niekro, and R.A. Dickey have won The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award. In 2012, Dickey became the only knuckleballer to have won the Cy Young Award. Phil Niekro is the only knuckleball pitcher to win 300 games.Mickey Lolich
Michael Stephen Lolich (born September 12, 1940) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a pitcher from 1962 until 1979, most notably for the Detroit Tigers. He is best known for his performance in the 1968 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals when he earned three complete-game victories, including a win over Bob Gibson in the climactic Game 7. Lolich is one of only 22 major league pitchers to have struck out at least 2,800 batters in his career. He is of Croatian descent.Ron Bryant
Ronald Raymond Bryant (born November 12, 1947) was a Major League Baseball pitcher from 1967 to 1975. Bryant's career record was 57 wins and 56 losses with a 4.02 ERA, mostly with the San Francisco Giants. He had 519 strikeouts in 917 career innings pitched. In 1973, Bryant had a 24–12 record with a 3.53 ERA for San Francisco. His 24 wins tied him with Wilbur Wood for most victories that year and made him the National League's only 20-game winner. In 1972, he went 14–7 with a 2.90 ERA. Bryant was injured in a swimming pool accident during spring training in 1974 and he went 3–15 with a 5.61 ERA. His request to be placed on the voluntary retired list was granted by the Giants on April 4, 1975. The primary reason he stated for his decision was a desire to spend more time with his wife and their two children. His contract was dealt by the Giants to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Larry Herndon and minor league pitcher Tony Gonzales on May 9, 1975. Bryant ended his brief retirement once the mandatory 60-day stay on the voluntary list expired on June 6. His major league pitching career ended when he was released by the Cardinals on July 30, 1975 after rejecting a demotion to the Tulsa Oilers.