Boston Red Sox right hander Smokey Joe Wood was one of the best pitchers in baseball during the teens.
Wood trained in Hot Springs in 1912, at the age of 22, and enjoyed one of the most successful seasons ever by a pitcher that year posting 34 wins against just 5 losses. He returned to Hot Springs again in 1913 and appeared to be just as dominant.
Seemingly on his way to challenging Walter Johnson as baseball’s absolute best pitcher Wood, injured his thumb after leaving Hot Springs. He p itched with that broken thumb for three years leading to an arm injury that derailed his pitching career. But Smoky Joe could still hit, run and field and was good enough to play in the Cleveland Indians outfield for five years.
Following his playing career, Smoky Joe Wood went on to coach the Yale University baseball team for two decades.