Former Cubs Pitcher Kerry Wood Reportedly Finds Body in Belmont Harbor

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2013

Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood reportedly found the body of a dead man while paddle boarding in the city's Belmont Harbor on Monday.

According to a report by Rosemary Regina Sobol of the Chicago Tribune, Wood made the discovery at 11:10 a.m. while enjoying a day on the water. The 36-year-old Wood then notified police, who took over the investigation.

"Mr. Wood immediately notified 911 of this discovery,'' said the police report obtained by the Tribune.

The identity of the man has not been released to the press at this time. However, the victim is described in the Tribune story as a 40-year-old man who had gone missing from a local nursing home in June. Police were able to identify him thanks to a tag from the nursing home on the victim's arm. 

An initial autopsy performed on the body was inconclusive. Examiners will further inspect the body to determine what caused the death. 

Wood, who retired from baseball midway through the 2012 season, is one of the more beloved members of the Cubs franchise in recent memory. A flame-throwing ace in the mold of Roger Clemens early in his career, Wood and fellow youngster Mark Prior were supposed to be the foundation of an impending Chicago dynasty.

However, arm injuries quickly derailed those plans. Wood underwent Tommy John surgery in 1999, beginning a process of never-ending starts and stops. He was in and out of the Chicago rotation for much of the early 2000s, before eventually deciding to become a reliever in 2007. The last few years of Wood's career were spent in the bullpen, where he enjoyed intermittent success as a closer.

Wood also played for the Indians and Yankees from 2009-10. 

After retiring with the Cubs, Wood joined the Cubs as a spring-training instructor, working with the pitching staff and young players this year.

The Cubs have not released a statement on the matter at this time. Through his wife Sarah, the Wood family declined to comment for the Tribune story.