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Cubs' Wood Sure Doesn't Strike Out with Voters

Baseball: Pitcher named National League rookie of the year, narrowly edging out Colorado's Helton.

November 10, 1998|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Kerry Wood was narrowly voted National League rookie of the year Monday, capping a season in which he struck out 20 batters in a game and helped the Chicago Cubs make the playoffs for the first time since 1989.

The 21-year-old right-hander received 16 first-place votes and 16 seconds to finish with 128 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton got 15 firsts, 14 seconds and two thirds for 119 points.

Arizona first baseman Travis Lee was next with 21 points and Atlanta closer Kerry Ligtenberg, who received the other first-place vote, was fourth with 18 points.

Wood was 13-6 with a 3.40 earned-run average in 26 starts, striking out 233 in 166 2/3 innings. He was even more impressive at Wrigley Field, going 9-1 with a 2.97 ERA in 13 starts during the regular season.

Baseball took notice of Wood on May 6 when he struck out 20--only Roger Clemens had done it in a nine-inning game--while pitching a one-hitter against Houston.

He was the odds-on favorite to win the rookie award heading into the final month of the season. But because of a dead arm, his start against Cincinnati on Aug. 31 was his last of the regular season.

Wood returned in Game 3 of the NL playoffs, giving up one unearned run against Atlanta as the Cubs were eliminated.

Helton batted .315 with 25 homers and 97 RBIs, taking over at first base for the Rockies when Andres Galarraga left to sign with Atlanta after the 1997 season. Ligtenberg replaced Mark Wohlers as the Braves' closer and finished with 30 saves.

The AL rookie of the year will be announced today.


By the Numbers

A look at the National league rookie of the year:


OF: 17

P: 16

2B: 6

3B: 5

1B: 4

C: 4

SS: 1



Dodgers: 16

Cincinnati: 6

Giants: 5

St. Louis: 5

Chicago: 4

New York Mets: 4

Atlanta: 3

Philadelphia: 3



Most strikeouts per 9 innings, rookie (minimum 100 IP)


Kerry Wood, 1998 Chicago Cubs


Dwight Gooden, 1984 New York Mets


Hideo Nomo, 1995 Dodgers


Chan Ho Park, 1996 Dodgers


Herb Score, 1955 Cleveland Indians

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