Wood was known for a fastball that even Walter Johnson said was faster than he could throw. While Ruth put up good numbers for a pitcher, 94-46, 2.28, 107 CGs, 17 shutouts in 145 starts, Wood's were even better. Wood went 34-5. 1.91 in 1912, throwing 35 CG and 10 shutouts. After suffering an injury, Wood went 15-5, 1.49 for the Boston Red Sox in 1915 and despite not pitching in the World Series, helped the Red Sox win their 3rd World Series, tying them with the Philadelphia Athletics for most World Series titles. Wood would sit out the 1916 season in a contract dispute, then move on to the Cleveland Indians joining teammate Tris Speaker.
After just one start and a couple relief appearances though, Wood was just about finished as a pitcher. But, as a pitcher for the Red Sox, Smokey had handled the bat well, hitting .244 (121-496), 5, 50 with 26 2Bs and 6 3B. Wood actually made the move after the 1917 season, so it was about 1 year before Ruth made the move to the OF full time for the Red Sox. He broke out in 1918, hitting .296, 5, 66 in 119 games for the Indians. He would serve as a 4th OF for the next three seasons, including the 1920 World Series Championship Indians team. Then came 1922. Wood became an every day player and hit .297, 8, 92 wth 33 2Bs and 8 3Bs in 142 games. Wood inexplicably retired after that season, something that has hurt his Hall of Fame chances.
In 1918, Wood won a job as utility player for the Indians because the Indians were missing players due to World War I. On May 24, 1918, Wood hit two HRs, something that was something of a rare occurance back then, leading the Indians to a 3-2, 19 inning win over the New York Yankees. I look at Wood as a possible Hall of Famer, the only thing is I do think players from that era have had their chance to be recognized by now. But Wood is an exception. His dominance on the mound was hardly compared to. Though he was never considered a dominant hitter, the transistion he made was outstanding. Hopefully the veterans committee will take a better look at Wood as a guy who does fit in when it comes to the Hall of Fame.