Wood thanks Cubs fans in newspaper ads

CHICAGO (TICKER) Kerry Wood bid farewell to Chicago fans Sunday in full-page ads in two of the city’s newspapers.

Wood spent the first 10 years of his career with the Chicago Cubs before signing a two-year, $20 million contract with the Cleveland Indians last month.

The hard-throwing Wood was a fan favorite during a dominant five-year run as a starter. After multiple injuries nearly derailed his career, Wood returned as a reliever in 2007 and was outstanding as the Cubs’ closer last season.

A first-round draft selection of the Cubs in 1995, Wood thanked Cubs fans for their continuous support in an ad that ran in both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.

“It has been an honor to have been a Chicago Cub for the last 13 years and to have played in the greatest ballpark, Wrigley Field,” Wood said in the ad. “My deepest thanks go to my teammates and the Cubs organization for taking a chance on a kid from Texas and welcoming me into the Cubs family.

“Thank you Cubs fans, the greatest fans in all of baseball, for believing in me and supporting me over the years. I will always be proud to have been a Chicago Cub. Although I’m a member of a new ‘Tribe,’ I will forever be a Chicagoan.”

Wood, 31, eclipsed the 200-strikeout mark in four of his first five seasons. The righthander tied a major-league record on May 6, 1998 when he struck out 20 batters against the Houston Astros.

But Wood appeared in a total of just 69 games from 2004 to 2007 due to numerous shoulder and elbow injuries. He emerged as an All-Star closer last season, recording 34 saves for the NL Central champion Cubs.


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Updated Sunday, Jan 18, 2009