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Smoky Joe Wood, Smoky Joe Wood, 0803244991, 0-8032-4499-1, 978-0-8032-4499-3, 9780803244993, Gerald C. Wood, , Smoky Joe Wood, 0803246048, 0-8032-4604-8, 978-0-8032-4604-1, 9780803246041, Gerald C. Wood, , Smoky Joe Wood, 0803278411, 0-8032-7841-1, 978-0-8032-7841-7, 9780803278417, Gerald C. Wood

Smoky Joe Wood
The Biography of a Baseball Legend
Gerald C. Wood

hardcover
2013. 440 pp.
978-0-8032-4499-3
$34.95 t
 
paperback
2015. 440 pp.
978-0-8032-7841-7
$24.95 t
Expected Availability 4/1/2015
 

Though his pitching career lasted only a few seasons, Howard Ellsworth “Smoky Joe” Wood was one of the most dominating figures in baseball history—a man many consider the best baseball player who is not in the Hall of Fame. About his fastball, Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson once said: “Listen, mister, no man alive can throw harder than Smoky Joe Wood.”

Smoky Joe Wood chronicles the singular life befitting such a baseball legend. Wood got his start impersonating a female on the National Bloomer Girls team. A natural athlete, he pitched for the Boston Red Sox at eighteen, won twenty-one games and threw a no-hitter at twenty-one, and had a 34-5 record plus three wins in the 1912 World Series, for a 1.91 ERA, when he was just twenty-two. Then in 1913 Wood suffered devastating injuries to his right hand and shoulder that forced him to pitch in pain for two more years. After sitting out the 1916 season, he came back as a converted outfielder and played another five years for the Cleveland Indians before retiring to coach the Yale University baseball team. Joe’s final reward for courageously enduring the eccentricities of his father, his sister’s polio, the 1926–27 baseball scandal, and the loss of his beloved wife and a son was an honorary doctorate in 1985 from Yale and its president, Bart Giamatti.

With details culled from interviews and family archives, this biography, the first of this rugged player of the Deadball Era, brings to life one of the genuine characters of baseball history.

Gerald C. Wood is Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at Carson-Newman College and coeditor of Northsiders: Essays on the History and Culture of the Chicago Cubs.

"Wood was a great ballplayer and an even more fascinating man. Excellent reading."—Wes Lukowsky, Booklist

"[Smoky Joe Wood is] a thorough and lively account of the career of Joe Wood."—W. T. Lindley, CHOICE

"With details culled from interviews and family archives, this biography, the first of this rugged player of the Deadball Era, brings to life one of the genuine characters of baseball history."—Bob Edmonds, McCormick Messenger

"Gerald C. Wood (no relation), author of this first full-scale biography of 'Smoky Joe' Wood, delivers an impeccably researched and poignant account of a great athlete and even greater man."—Mark Hodermarsky, Cleveland.com

"A stunning account of the life of the best baseball player not in the Hall of Fame."—John Vorperian, Southern New England Chapter, Society for American Baseball Research

“If I could have been one twentieth-century sports figure, I would like to have been Smoky Joe Wood in 1912. All that talent and all that common sense combined in one package and all showcased in a baseball-mad city. And reinventing himself to become a .366–hitting outfielder wasn’t bad either.”—Bob Ryan, Boston Globe sports columnist and author of When Boston Won the World Series


2014 Seymour Medal

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