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Saturday, April 16, 2022

Jeff Wood loved baseball; He couldn't play very well, so he turned to training

Originally published Sept. 27, 2013
Growing up in West Virginia, Jeff Wood loved baseball. He just couldn't play very well, he recalled years later to

But there was another way into the game, he recalled: Being a trainer.

"I just wanted to get into baseball," Wood told "I loved baseball although I never had any talent in it. I wanted to get into it, be involved with it, and athletic trainers were needed in baseball."

So, Wood became a trainer. And he's been involved in the game since, in both the minor leagues and, later, in college ball.

Wood's training career began in 1983, signed by the Orioles to serve as trainer for their rookie team in his home state, Bluefield.

From there, Wood served as a trainer in the organization for a decade. By 1986, he was serving as trainer for the organization's AA club in Charlotte. In 1989, he moved up to the AAA club in Rochester.

He continued with Rochester in 1991. That year, he watched over the recovery from surgery of Jack Voigt, who went on to play in seven major league seasons. Wood believed he would recover fully, but he still had to watch the injury, Wood told The Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

"It's something he's got to be aware of for the rest of his baseball career," Wood told The Herald-Tribune.

Soon, though, Wood's own career took a different direction, one that led him to the University of Tennessee.

Wood has been at Tennessee, serving as trainer for the baseball team, since 2001. He earned his masters in 2002. He has since gone on trips to Italy and China through MLB International, serving as trainer for baseball clinics.

"I have been very fortunate throughout my career in baseball to have some unique opportunities, and this is no different," Wood told of the Italy trip.

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