The lasting legacy of Kerry Wood

Updated: May 19, 2012, 12:42 PM ET
By Buster Olney

It was just time, Kerry Wood explained, in announcing his retirement. Time to spend more time with his family, because he can. Time for relief from the day-to-day grind of preparing to pitch. Time to walk away from a sport he loved -- a sport which presumably broke his heart more than a few times.

Wood won 86 games in his career and lost 75, and pitched fewer than 1,500 innings. According to baseball-reference.com, some pitchers he compares with -- statistically -- are Moe Drabowsky, Kelvim Escobar and Don Larsen.

But his legacy is far more complex than his numbers indicate, and his impact is much more lasting.