“Dandy,” who played from 1880-92 for Worcester, Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Cincinnati, was the eighth Canadian to reach the major leagues, and one of only three to come from PEI, along with Vern Handrahan and Henry Oxley. He was the only Canadian on the Ball Hall’s ballot who had played more than one thousand games, and becomes the second Hall of Famer to hail from PEI, joining 2002 Inductee Don McDougall.
The National League’s 1882 homerun champion also became one of only eight Canadians to manage in the major leagues (143 games with Philadelphia in 1891), and was also one of only six Canadians to umpire in the majors (1886-98). The gifted outfielder led the National league in putouts (226) in 1883, and in assists (35) in 1890. His lifetime batting average was .273, collecting 1,467 hits, 228 doubles, a Canadian-best 132 triples, 68 homeruns and 601 RBI while stealing 113 bases.
The 2009 inductee to the PEI Sports Hall of Fame played on the first team of professionals to play in Cuba (1879-80). In his first week in the major leagues, Wood initiated the 11th triple play in history. He played left field for the winning team in the first perfect game recorded in baseball history (June 12, 1880). He was a teammate of fellow Hall-of-Famers Arthur Irwin and Tip O’Neill. Wood became the first Canadian to hit for the cycle on June 12, 1885, (O’Neill did it twice two years later). His final career homerun was hit off of Clark Griffith, father of inductee Calvin Griffith and great-uncle of inductee Sherry Robertson.
“George’s career stats are all the more remarkable in that baseballs of that era were inferior in quality and well-abused before replacement,” said Douglas MacDonald of Charlottetown, PEI, whose mother was a third cousin of Wood, and who is hopeful of attending the ceremony in St. Marys on June 18th.
“This is such wonderful news, and I’m sure that George would be very honoured to join such an elite group.”
Following Wood’s distinguished career, he eventually became a ticket-taker at the American League ballpark in Philadelphia in 1911, a messenger in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and spent his final decade as a Marshall of the new Pennsylvania Public Service Commission. He died in Harrisburgh, PA.
Career Major League Statistics
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