Kerry Wood is learning what its like to be a Cubs fan.
The recently-retired Wood was on hand in the Cubs clubhouse at Wrigley Field prior to the series finale against Arizona on Sunday. But he wasnt planning to stick around for the actual game.
Im 0-for-2 as a fan, Wood said. So Im leaving before it starts.
Wood said he has kept busy since his dramatic May 18 retirement. While he remains active with the Wood Family Foundation charitable organization, much of his time goes to hanging out with his wife, Sarah, and their three children.
Ive been waiting a long time for this, he said. Its been great. Its been Little League games and fishing. Its been a great summer. Its my first summer off in 25-plus years, so its been enjoyable.
Wood said hes being host to a baseball clinic beginning Monday, and that his foundation is joining with the Cubs to build a new high school baseball field on Addison Street, just west of Western Avenue and adjacent to Lane Tech High Schools Lane Stadium. Wood said groundbreaking will come soon on the field that will be used by Chicago high schools and for clinics.
While Wood is mostly out of the public eye now, his national commercial for State Farm has brought loads of attention. In it, Wood pulls from the ivy an old, brick-like cell phone, a French horn, and, of course, Andre Dawson.
The commercial, filmed about three weeks ago, has been a hit.
Ive gotten some good feedback, Wood said. It took nine hours, for that 30-second spot, but it was fun doing it. It was fun hanging out with Hawk all day. Ive had people calling me about it from all over the country.
As for his future, Wood ruled out any immediate move into coaching or management.
Those guys spend so much more time around here than players do, so it would be kind of counterproductive of what I wanted to do, he said. Id like to be here as much as I can without being in the way. So Ill be around, but I dont for sure exactly what (my role will be).
Hell likely be in an advisory role for the Cubs, especially as the season winds down. He said he expects to be around Wrigley more often once August rolls in, and when rosters expand in September.
One thing he said he wont worry about is making a comeback.
Im enjoying family life too much, he said. I tried playing catch (Sunday), so I know (retirement is) the right decision.