Wednesday, May 9, 2012
On this day in 1976, a line drive by future White Sox player Ron LeFlore shattered pitcher Wilbur Wood's left kneecap, in Detroit, Michigan, in a game against the Tigers.
Wilbur did come back from the injury and play another two years, but determined never to let a fluke ball injure him again, Wood changed his delivery to the plate and became less effective. Wilbur had just come off of four straight seasons as the AL leader in games started and was one season removed from four straight seasons of twenty or more wins. After the injury, Wood would post a 17-18 record and a 5.10 ERA in 1977 and 1978 combined. This was a far cry from his 2.80 ERA that Wilbur had over his first ten seasons with the White Sox.