Pastor Rich Zawadzki who not only is a Red Sox fan but is almost ready for his famous Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament this weekend, made a fine suggestion for the Monster Card Monday feature today. In fact, it was the very first Grade A&B pitcher I saw in my life. I am speaking of Smokey Joe Wood of the 1912 Boston Red Sox.
Wood had that magic combination of a great ERA (1.91), a phenomenal W-L record (34-5) on top of an everlasting endurance (35 CG and 344 IP).
Overall, he led the AL in wins (34), win pct (.872) and shutouts (10). More importantly, he helped the Red Sox to the World Series championship over the New York Giants.
Smokey Joe did okay with the bat in 1912, too.
Well of course, the main attraction here is Smokey Joe Wood’s A&B grade. We just don’t see that very often especially among starting pitchers. A few of Wood’s contemporaries including 1908 Ed Walsh and 1905 Christy Mathewson are a couple of examples of pitchers who received the elusive grade.
Depending on which card you’re looking at, Wood has some strikeout letters too. The one up top is the most recent. It comes from the Great Teams of the Past set in 2014 and Wood is adorned with letters XYZ.
This card edition is from the original World Series set. I also bought this and it came with my very first game that I bought.
Any way you look at it, Wood had a nice looking hitting card. I did notice however, that Wood gained a 55-7 in the upgrade. Note also that Wood is rated as an OF-2 despite not playing outfield. Wood would eventually play all three outfield positions starting in 1918 though.
Check out Wood’s Original Franchise All-Stars (OFAS) card.
If I check the APBA Baseball 12 Publication Chart, I see that this was published in 1982. Judging by the fonts and the overall format of the card, the World Series card was probably published a couple years before then.
One more Wood card (thanks Rich! This is great tutorial in APBA card formats).
This card was published in 2013 as part of the Baseball All Time Stars (BATS) set. Not surprisingly, it is not too different from the top 2014 card in both numbers and format.
A lot of times when I do these write-ups, I learn a thing or two. One, I found out that Smokey Joe Wood was still alive while I was in college. Here is his obituary in the New York Times. According to the obit, Wood suffered a sore arm due to his 1912 season which is why he never was the same pitcher again.
thanks for the suggestion, Pastor Rich!!