Monday, October 30, 2006

October 30th, 1915

Pinky Woods Born

From the College of the Holy Cross, the people who brought you Jigga Statz (and Bill Simmons) comes Pinky Woods. Sadly, I have no information on how George Rowland Woods became "Pinky," unless it was some sort of bizarre reference to his political sensibilities. Given that's an unlikelihood, however, I think this may be one mystery that endures.

All said, Woods' Major League career lasted just three seasons, all during the Second World War. Even facing weakened wartime competition (although presumably weakened competition himself) Woods only managed a career 3.97 ERA for the Red Sox. His best year was 1944 when Woods appeared in thirty-eight games and posted a 3.27 ERA, second best among Sox starters that year.

Perhaps the most interesting element of Pinky's career--and one that now that I think about it may help explain the nickname--concerns his big toe. Apparently Pinky arrived with the Red Sox as a flamethrower but apparently lost much of the velocity on his fastball after being spiked and losing his big toe. I'm still at something of a loss as to how badly you'd have to be spiked to totally lose a toe--perhaps because I'd really rather not think about it--but I can see how the rather cruel world of baseball nicknames would come up with "Pinky" for someone down to a mere nine toes.

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