Kid K finished off his career in the only way he knew how.
By striking out one last batter.
Congratulations Mr. Dayan Viciedo you are now an answer to a trivia question.
Kerry went out on his own terms which can't be said very often. Too many times players hang on for one last chance at glory. Heck the Cubs are notorious for trying to "capture lightning in a bottle" with players before.
It rarely works.
I have great respect for players who are aware enough of themselves and realize when the heat is gone and it is time to walk away. Kerry had a good career with the Cubs and will be remembered as such.
I was so excited when he was finally called up from the minors and Cubs fans everywhere were finally going to witness the fire from Kid K's arm. He wowed us with his fastball and mesmerized us with his curveball. He had hitters baffled at times and was a pure power pitcher.
Everyone loves the strikeout.
It was nevermore evident in his fifth start of his career when he faced the Houston Astros in 1998. I can still remember sitting at home and watching him mow down Astro after Astro after Astro. He was so dominant that day that he struck out 20 batters. He only gave up 1 lonely hit which was a scratch dribbler that barely made it out of the batters box. It was one of the most amazing performances I ever witnessed and it made Kerry Wood an All-Time Cub Player fan favorite.
Kerry may not have lived up to the hype and never got the Cubs a long awaited World Series championship, but he gave it everything he had.
In 2003 he started Game 7 of the NLCS against the Florida Marlins and as we all know came up short. But he gave his best try and even cranked a homerun to help himself out that I will never forget. I am not ashamed to say that it made me cry thinking the baseball gods were maybe finally on our side. It wasn't meant to be but he put his heart and soul out there.
Kerry was a tireless worker and truly cared about the city of Chicago and its wonderful fans.
In all of his accomplishments throughout his career what really stands out to me is how much he did in charitable work. He was a good baseball player but he is an even greater person. Every year you would hear about what he and his wife did in the off season for charity and giving back to the city. He had a big arm and an even bigger heart. If every player cared that much about others as he does the world would be a much better and happier place.
So I will miss seeing him stare down hitters.
I will miss watching them looking at their bats like he made it disappear while striking them out.
And so that leaves only one thing left to say in honor of Kid K.
"One, Two, Three strikes you're out at the old ball game!"