Amore: ‘New’ Smoky Joe Wood interview provides a voice from the past

From Don Amore at The Hartford Courant on June 15, 2013:

The gruff, old man’s voice on the other end of the line fit perfectly with the pictures I had seen. “Sure, come on over,” he said.

When is the best time to … “Right now! Come on over!”

Howard Ellsworth Wood was the owner of that voice, and a good deal more. He lived to be 95, and has been gone nearly 28 years, yet he is still known everywhere baseball is known and loved as “Smoky Joe” Wood.

I hung up the phone in dumb amazement. It was July 16, 1981, and for a couple of nerdy teenagers, a largely joyless summer with baseball on strike, suddenly became somewhat magical. I was 19, just finished with my freshman year as a journalism major at Southern Connecticut, and John Mooney, who lived around the block, was 17, and all we talked about that summer was baseball. Not present day, because there was none, but baseball from 70 years before, the “dead-ball” era. We had both read Lawrence Ritter’s brilliant book, “The Glory of Their Times,” and I would go to the New Haven library, which had a remarkable collection of old magazines, and copy stories about Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, et al. And from a recent column by Bill Ryan in the New Haven Journal-Courier, I learned that the great Joe Wood, Red Sox hero of 1912, lived in the Westville section of New Haven.

Read the full article here:,0,228615.story

Originally published: June 17, 2013. Last Updated: June 17, 2013.