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Wilbur Wood -1973 Topps #150

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ImageWilbur Forrester Wood, Jr. (born October 22, 1941 in Cambridge, Massachusetts) is a former knuckleball pitcher in Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, and most notably the Chicago White Sox, where he got 163 of his 164 wins. He threw left-handed, and batted right-handed.
In 1960, Wood was signed out of Belmont, Massachusetts high school by the Red Sox. He pitched on-and-off for them for a few seasons before being traded to the Pirates in late September 1964. After two seasons with Pittsburgh, he was traded to the White Sox after the 1966 season.  Wood finished second in the 1972 voting for the Cy Young Award, losing a close vote to Gaylord Perry.
In a 17-season career, Wood compiled a 164-156 record with a 3.24 ERA. He had 1411 strikeouts in 2684 innings pitched. He compiled 24 shutouts and 114 complete games in 297 games started. He pitched in 651 games. He was also the last pitcher in American League history to win and lose Image20 or more games in the same season.
Wood was seriously injured in a game against the Detroit Tigers in Tiger Stadium, May 9, 1976, when Ron LeFlore, the Tigers’ center fielder, hit a vicious line drive back toward the mound. The ball struck Wood’s left knee forcibly, shattering his kneecap. 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.

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