Primary Position: Outfield
First, Middle Names: Kenneth Lanier
Date of Birth: July 1, 1924 Date and Place of Death: Nov. 22, 2007, Myrtle Beach, SC
High School: Paw Creek High School, Paw Creek, NC; Central High School, Charlotte, NC
College: Did Not Attend
Bats: R Throws: R Height and Weight: 6-0, 200
Debut Year: 1948 Final Year: 1953 Years Played: 6
Teams and Years: St. Louis Browns, 1948-51; Boston Red Sox, 1952; Washington Senators, 1952-53
G AB H R RBI HR BA. OBP. SLG. WAR
342 995 223 110 143 34 .224 .298 .393 -3.3
Ken Wood was a lumbering 200-pound outfielder with a cannon for an arm and a bit of lightning in his bat. Unfortunately, he had hands of stone. He was so dreadful in the field, in fact, that his teams would have been better off without him in the lineup.
Poor defense combine with a lackluster bat to give Wood the lowest Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, of any of the more than 400 North Carolina natives who have played in the major leagues. That’s an advanced statistic that attempts to summarize a player’s total contributions to his team – his hitting, pitching, running, fielding — by estimating how many games a team can be expected to win with the player in the lineup instead of an average player coming off the bench or called up from the minors. The player’s value to his team accumulates over the course of his career, and the resulting number is expressed in plus or minus games, which can be useful yardsticks to compare players of different eras. Wood has a -3.3 lifetime WAR, meaning the teams he played for during a six-year career in the majors lost more than three games with him in the lineup instead of a substitute.