Sunday, June 22, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday...Jake Wood

Today we say Happy 77th Baseball Birthday to former Detroit Tigers second baseman Jake Wood.

Jacob "Jake" Wood was born on June 22, 1937,  in Elizabeth, New Jersey, 

Jake played one year of college baseball at Delaware State before signing with Detroit as a amateur free agent in 1957.

Wood started his minor league baseball career at Erie, of the New York-Penn League.

Wood earned his trip to the big leagues with his performance at AAA Denver in 1960.

Jake hit .305, with 24 doubles, 18 triples, 12 home runs, and 76 runs batted in.

Jake Wood made his big league debut on Opening Day 1961, at Tiger Stadium, becoming the first African-American ball player to make his way through the Tigers minor leagues to the big league level.

Jake was issued Olde English D uniform retired for Hall of Fame second Baseman Charlie Gehringer.

In the 7th inning Jake collected his first big league hit, a two run HR off Jim Perry of the Cleveland Indians.

Wood played in all 162 games at second base in 1961, leading all American League rookies with 14 triples...and 141 strikeouts.

Jake smacked 171 base hits in 1961, with 17 doubles, 11 home runs, and also stole 30 bases, in 663 at bats.

In 1962, Jake played in 111 games at second base for Detroit, scored 68 runs, stole 24 bases, collecting 83 hits.

Wood hurt a finger in 1963, and was a part time player for the Tigers into the 1967 season.

After playing in just 16 games in 1967, Wood was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, where he appeared in just 14 games.

Jake Wood played his final big league game as a member of the Reds, on August 11, 1967, at the age is 30.

Jake Wood was inducted into the Union, County, Delaware Hall of Fame, and resides in Pensacola, Florida.

Happy Baseball Birthday Jake Wood.

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