It’s an emotional game, baseball. The excitement that rises when you hear that crack of the bat signaling a great hit. The frustration that comes after bad plays or when your team just can’t seem to win a game. The joy you get when you see a foul ball handed to a young kid at their first game.The nervous anticipation that comes at the 3-2 count in the bottom of the 9th with bases loaded. Then there’s the sadness. The sadness that comes when the your season ends, magnified if it ends suddenly in the playoffs. The sadness that comes when one of your favorite players leaves your team or leaves the game all together.
This afternoon, when this story was released on cubs.com, I was reminded that baseball is indeed an emotional game. Kerry Wood, now relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, plans to retire after his next appearance on the mound. It could be today, it could be tomorrow, or even Sunday.
Kerry Wood played no minor role in my love of baseball. I remember the excitement that I had as a 10-year-old each time he stepped on the mound. This guy could get 15 – 20 strike outs a game! That excitement never really went away, even after he transitioned to the closer position and now as setup man. That excitement still comes even while following the game through MLB Gameday.
Kerry Wood, one of my favorite baseball players, one who got me excited about the game of baseball, will step onto the pitchers mound one last time in the next couple days. I’ll probably be watching the Gameday screen and that same excitement will come. The ball will leave his hand for the last time in the MLB and then he’ll leave the game as all sorts of mixed emotions set in.
It’s an emotional game, baseball. Kerry Wood, thanks for throwing your last pitch in Cubbie Blue.