MLB Hall of Fame: Breaking down the ballot

COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 27: Baseball fans await the start of the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center during on July 27, 2014 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 27: Baseball fans await the start of the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center during on July 27, 2014 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Kerry Wood – 1st Year on Ballot

Once seemingly destined for stardom, Kerry Wood instead made us wonder what could have been.

He exploded on the scene with the Cubs, striking out 20 batters in only his fifth major league start. He won the Rookie of the Year that season, but missed September with arm issues. He appeared in the postseason that year, but missed all of the 1999 campaign with injuries. Those arm woes were a constant problem, as Wood made 16 trips to the disabled list over his career. Yet, that blazing fastball never left, as he began and ended his career with a strikeout.

Wood went from starting to becoming a closer, and dominated in both roles when healthy. However, he was never really healthy consistently, minimizing his accomplishments in the game. Overall, Wood produced a 86-75 record with 63 saves, posting a 3.67 ERA and a 1.267 WHiP. The two time All Star struck out 1582 batters in 1380 innings, the second highest K/9 rate in major league history, trailing only Randy Johnson.

The problem is, Wood just could not remain healthy. He had incredible stuff, but his arm could not withstand the rigors of pitching. Instead of that Hall of Fame trajectory that he appeared to be on, he has instead become a pitcher that makes us wonder what could have been.

Kerry Wood was one of the best of his time when he was on the mound. He just could not pitch enough to earn a spot in the MLB Hall of Fame.