Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Final Card: Jake Wood

This is the final card for Jake Wood (#394), who played for the Tigers from 1961-67.

Jacob Wood was signed by the Tigers in 1957, and after 4 seasons in the minors he made his big-league debut in April 1961. Wood played in 162 games in his rookie season, starting 160 of them at 2nd base. He led the AL with 14 triples, and also with 141 strikeouts (which at the time, was the record for most strikeouts in a season). He also finished 6th in the Rookie of the Year voting. Sounds great, eh? Unfortunately, that was the high point of his career.

Jake began 1962 where he left off in 1961 - as the regular 2nd baseman. After July 24th, Wood only started 3 games at 2nd base. Dick McAuliffe (who had been the backup SS-3B the previous year) moved over to start the remaining games at 2nd base.

Wood's playing time decreased with each subsequent year. In 1963 he was still the primary 2nd baseman, but only by a slight margin over rookie George Smith. Detroit's acquisition of Jerry Lumpe from Kansas City in 1964 reduced Wood to little more than a pinch-hitter for the next 2 seasons. In 1966, Jake managed to start about 1/3 of the games at 2nd base, while Lumpe started the majority of the games there.

After appearing in only 14 games for the Tigers in 1967, Wood was sold to the Reds on June 23rd. He only saw action in 16 games with the Reds, the last on August 11th. After the season, he was sold to the Indians, but never played in the majors again. Wood spent the 1968 season with Cleveland's triple-A team, and 1969 with Detroit's double-A team before retiring.

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