Wilbur Wood with his tantalizing knuckle ball won 20 games four years in a row for the second division Chicago White Sox, from 1971-1974. He went 22-13, 24-7, 24-20, 20-19, averaging almost 340 innings per/yr. Wilbur Wood started as a relief pitcher and in 1968, was 13-12, 1.87 ERA, 16 saves and set the AL record for most games pitched, 88. In that year, he was voted the AL's Fireman of the Year. In 1971, Sox' manager Chuck Tanner moved Wood into the starting rotation and 14 of his 22 wins came on only two days rest, he finished 22-13 with a low 1.91 ERA. In 1972 Iron Man Wilbur Wood started 49 games, the second highest total in this century, only two behind Jack Chesbro's modern day record. Wood's 376 innings were most since Grover Cleveland Alexander 387 in 1917.
'The Sporting News' selected Wood as the AL Pitcher of the Year. Wilbur Wood went 24-17, 2.51 ERA and issued fewer than 2 walks per nine innings and worked 10 games without surrendering a single base on balls. In 1973, he pitched both games of a doubleheader, pitching six innings for the win; completing a suspended game. He then started the 2nd game and won 4-0. Later that year, Wood started both games of a regularly scheduled twin-bill but was mauled 12-2 and 7-0. In May 1976, he was hit in the knee-cap by a hard liner while pitching and missed the rest of the season. Wood never fully recovered and lost control of his knuckle ball due to the knee injury and retired in 1978. Wilbur Wood stats: 164-156, 3.24 ERA, 651 G, 297 GC, 114 GC, 24 shutouts, 57 saves in 2684 innings, allowed only 724 walks, 1411 K's with a low .308 on base pct. baseballhistorian.com We tip our cap to this all-time popular Chicago White Sox pitcher, a true Iron Man with a will-to-pitch. Chicago White Sox Baseball History