Boston Red Sox: 50 greatest players of all-time
Smoky Joe Wood had one magical season as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but the effects of the workload curtailed his career on the mound dramatically.
The Red Sox signed the right-hander in August 1908 from the Kansas City Blues of the American Association and the 18-year-old jumped directly to the bigs after signing, working in six games at the end of the 1908 season.
He was a spot starter the next two seasons before nailing down a spot in the rotation in 1911.
In 1912, Wood was amazingly good, leading the American League with 34 wins, an .872 winning percentage, 35 complete games and 10 shutouts.
But he was never the same, dealing with a sore shoulder the next three seasons, per the Society for American Baseball Research.
Though he led the AL in winning percentage and ERA again in 1915, he was shut down for the World Series and held out the entire 1916 season after refusing to take a cut in pay.
He was sold to the Cleveland Indians in February 1917 and would only make seven more pitching appearances in his career.
In parts of eight seasons with the Red Sox, Wood was 117-56 with a 1.99 ERA and 1.080 WHIP, an ERA+ of 149, and 986 strikeouts in 1,416 innings.
Wood made four appearances in Boston’s eight-game win over the New York Giants in the 1912 World Series, three of them starts, and was 3-1 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.364 WHIP in 22 innings, striking out 21.
Finished as a pitcher after the 1917 season, Wood returned to the Indians in 1918 as an outfielder and hit .298/.376/.809 as a part-time player over the next five seasons.
Wood went on to coach baseball at Yale University for 15 seasons, 14 of them as the varsity head coach.
He died on March 25, 1985 at the age of 95, having retired n New Haven, Connecticut in 1960 after making a great deal of money running a golfing range in California with his brother, Pete.