34-year-old Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood announced his retirement Friday, allowing himself one last appearance before hanging ’em up and ending an injury-filled 14-year career.
With one out in the eighth inning, Wood was called upon to face White Sox OF Dayan Viciedo. Wood would need just three pitches to retire Viciedo on strikes, the third strike coming on a wild flail at a slider that was eerily similar to the one that helped Wood strike out 20 batters in one game his rookie season and nearly 1600 batters throughout his career. Wood ends his career 157th all-time in strikeouts with a strikeout rate of over 10 Ks per nine innings, second only to Randy Johnson.
You can watch the full strikeout at MLB.com, but perhaps cooler than the strikeout itself was the way Wood walked away from the game to a standing ovation at Wrigley Field. Check it out:
If there is a better way to exit the game as a pitcher, I don’t know it. It’s the baseball equivalent of driving off into the sunset.