Our gutsy closer added some acrobatics to his latest ninth-inning production against the Oakland A’s on September 13th. With the Tribe up 5-2, a man on first (always) and no outs, Oakland’s Dan Johnson sent a bouncer in the hole that was snagged by first baseman Ben Broussard.

Our hero Wick, who never fails to hustle to first, collided with Johnson at the bag taking the return throw from shortstop Jhonny Peralta, sending both men sprawling to the turf.  After the ball hit Bob in the thigh and bounced into foul territory, he sprang immediately to his feet and retrieved it. Never taking his eyes off of the umpire, who made no call either way, Bobby did what no one else in Jacobs Field was thinking about. He calmly walked over to first and stepped on the bag to complete the double play, igniting a roar from the stunned crowd. Johnson had missed the bag.

“It was quite amazing,” said Kevin Millwood, the games’ winning pitcher. “How many people would’ve thought to touch the bag after a collision like that?”

Not I, that’s for sure. Being in shock after seeing our beloved closer fall on his pitching arm while wiping out at first base, I was grateful just to see him get up. A minute later, with his arm bleeding from just above his right elbow, Bob got the third out with a harmless fly ball to right for his league-leading 40th save.

Never hesitating during the heads-up play, Bob’s veteran intelligence came through again to seal yet another win against a contending team in this year’s thrilling wild-card race; a race we wouldn’t be enjoying if it wasn’t for Bob Wickman. J. Ladd 9/13/05