I’m not worthy

July 20th, 2006 → 10:05 am @ // No Comments

Another fun reading last night, this one at Keene, New Hampshire’s Toadstool Bookstore. I shared the floor with Dave Clark (no, not that Dave Clark), an invaluable resource for all things knuckleball. But the highlight of the evening was unquestionably the fact that the son and grandson of Smoky Joe Wood came out to hear me talk. That’s a little bit like someone writing a commentary on the Bible and then having Cain (or Abel, for that matter), stop by for a chat.

Wood, for you apostates out there, was the proud owner of the right arm of god long before Pedro came on the scene. In 1912, when he was 22-years-old, Wood went 34-5 for the Sox. He started 38 games, finished 35 of them, and racked up 10 shutouts. His ERA was 1.91 in a year in which the league average was 3.44. That, my friends, is a season for the ages. The next year, Wood suffered an injury that all but ended his pitching career; he never started as many as 20 games again, and by 1918 had transitioned to the outfield. (Still, Wood’s lifetime winning percentage of .672 is the 11th-best all time.) Wood’s son and I discussed whether Ted Williams was actually the greatest hitter who ever lived (we agreed that while perhaps he wasn’t, we’d allow him the moniker) and who else had a history with Yale’s baseball team (George H.W. Bush, for one).

It’s going to be hard for tonight’s reading in Manchester, Vermont to top that. (Anyone know where Tris Speaker’s family lives?)

Post Categories: Feeding the Monster Readings & Red Sox & Smoky Joe Wood

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: