Woodward grew up in Covina, California
Pop became a truck driver and Mom went to work to support her three daughters, Deanna, Cheri and Jeni, and her son. After the divorce, Woodward always had a father figure in his life in Tom Quinley, his PONY league and high school coach. Woodward's father died when Chris was 21.
Then, ex-Jays catcher Ernie Whitt and third-base coach Brian Butterfield became father figures. "You go 3-for-3 with three homers and if you don't back up a base, he will let you hear about it, which is the way it should be," Woodward said of Butterfield.
Like any minor leaguer, there were bumps in the road for Woodward
"We were 2 1/2 months into the season, with 200 at-bats and I was hitting.190," Woodward said. "I remember looking at the stats, thinking I can go 50-for-50 and only be hitting .240."
Woodward says that veteran utility infielder Craig Grebeck really helped him adapt to the Majors during the 2000 season, showing him how to get ready to play after sitting for a few days
Woodward is a baseball survivor
Woodward broke Spring Training as the full-time starter in both 2003 and 2004, but he lost his job to Mike Bordick one year and Chris Gomez the next
Once Randolph got Woodward in 2005 spring camp, he put an arm around the career infielder's shoulder and suggested that Woodward start taking balls in the outfield—and anywhere else possible—in order to appear in as many games as possible. Woodward, anointed the Mets' new jack-of-all-trades with Joe McEwing's release, made his outfield debut 10 days into the season on April 14.
Woodward is a real good teammate
During the 2005 season, Chris, wife Erin, and daughter Sophie, lived in a beautiful apartment building on Central Park West in New York City
Chris met his wife, Erin, in Toronto. They were married on Ocober 6, 2001. wedding had been originally planned for late in November but then was rescheduled due to the health of Erin's father, who was terminally ill with brain cancer.
"We wanted to make sure her dad saw the wedding, so we completely changed all the plans," said Woodward, who grew up in California and attended Mt. San Antonio College in the Golden State.
But, then, the tragic events of September 11 happened and, because Major League Baseball postponed games for several days, it moved the end of the season back a week, which coincided with the weekend of the wedding.
"We had to scramble for hotel rooms and it got hectic because we still had three games to play," said Woodward. "It also left me in a bit of a conflict with the games. My family had already flown in from California and we had paid for the wedding site."
The only thing Woodward could do was approach Buck Martinez, who was the Blue Jays manager at the time.
For Woodward, it was somewhat awkward, considering he was only in his second full year in the big leagues and he wasn't sure what his skipper would say.
"He reacted really cool," said Woodward. "He understood the situation and he told me to take the rest of the weekend off, considering we were like 30 games out of first place or something like that."
Woodward missed the Saturday game but decided to make the Sunday game, which was the last of the season and the day Tony Fernandez retired from baseball.
"I think I surprised Buck because when I walked into the locker room the next day, he kind of did a double take, like, 'How the heck is he here?'" said Woodward, who said he only got two hours of sleep from the night before. "I really didn't expect to play that day, I just wanted to be there with the team."
In the ninth inning, the Blue Jays rallied against the Indians -- after Fernandez had tipped his hat to the crowd in his final at-bat and started his postgame shower.
When Fernandez's turn to bat came in the ninth, Martinez called Woodward to pinch-hit.
"That was the first time I picked up a bat that day and I had to face John Rocker," said Woodward. "The first time I swung, let's just say, it wasn't pretty. But I did end up getting a walk. Which was good, considering—especially against Rocker." (Chris Girandola-MLB.com-6/22/06)
Chris is the personication of the experssion: "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog
Woodward is one of the hardest working players you will find. And he is the ultimate professional.
October 1, 2009: Chris' wife, Erin, delivered a healthy baby boy, Grady Maclean
June 1994: The Blue Jays chose Chris in the 54th round, out of Northview High School in Covina, California
October 2004: Chris chose free agency rather than be sent to Triple-A by the Blue Jays
December 28, 2004: Woodward signed with the Mets
December 20, 2006: Woodward signed with the Braves
February 8, 2008: Woodward signed with the Yankees organization
March 28, 2008: Chris signed with the Phillies organization
May 1, 2008: The Phillies released Woodward
June 2008: Chris signed with the Brewers organization
November, 2008: Woodward signed with the Mariners organization
August 7, 2009: The Red Sox claimed Woodward off waivers from the Mariners
March 10, 2011: Chris signed with the Blue Jays organization
January 6, 2010: Chris again signed with the Mariners
August 20, 2012: After 18 years of playing pro baseball, including 12 in the big leagues, Chris announced he was calling it quits at the end of the 2012 season
He said he hopes to move into coaching.