Remembering Tim Wakefield: World Champion Pases Away at 57
Ex-Red Sox pitcher Tim WakefieldEx-Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield

Boston — Fenway Park, the Red Sox pitching staff’s ace, Tim Wakefield, who had a memorable home run in the 2003 playoffs to close the season against the Yankees and help Boston win a curse-breaking World Series title the following year. He was 57 years old.

Red Sox Confirms Tim Wakefield’s Death

On Sunday, the Red Sox officially confirmed his passing through a statement. According to former teammate Curt Schilling, Wakefield had been battling brain cancer, which he had publicly acknowledged and had advocated for Wakefield on a podcast last week. The Red Sox confirmed the illness but did not provide details, saying that Wakefield had requested privacy.

Tim Wakefield: Knuckleball Specialist and Fan Favorite

Originally drafted as a first baseman by the Pittsburgh Pirates through the help of Soviet scouts, he set home run records in college. Wakefield transitioned to pitching after excelling in minor leagues and eventually became a knuckleball specialist. While the old-fashioned knuckleball had fallen out of favor in the big leagues, he won 200 big league games, including 186 with the Red Sox – a franchise record behind only Cy Young and Roger Clemens.

But it was his role in the early 2000s Red Sox-Yankees rivalry that made Wakefield a favorite among fans, and his impact was greater than his stats suggested.

After tying Game 7 of the ’03 AL Championship Series with the Yankees after New York’s rally, Wakefield earned relief wins in Games 3 and 6, giving Aaron Boone the chance to end Boston’s season, extend New York’s championship dry spell, and become a household name. Until 1918.

Tim Wakefield: Competitor, Friend, and Champion

The next October, with the Red Sox in danger against the Yankees in the ALCS again, Wakefield got nine outs in extra innings of Game 5, allowing David Ortiz to arrange his 14th-inning win. The Red Sox returned in three games without a loss and then swept St. In the World Series against St. Louis, they secured their initial championship in 86 years.

“When he took that mound, he was a better competitor,” former teammate Kevin Youkilis said on Sunday’s Red Sox game broadcast. “He exemplified not only excellence as a teammate but also as a dear and extraordinary friend. There was joy on the field, there was joy in the booth, and there was just joy in the fact that I got to be around him.”

Wakefield and the Red Sox won it again in 2007.

Tim Wakefield’s Grateful Farewell

Wakefield announced his retirement in a 2012 news conference, saying, “There were times I didn’t know if I was going to come back or not.” “But I’m very grateful that I’ve been successful in wearing this uniform for such a long time, and I’ve been successful in helping this great city win two World Series titles.”

Wakefield grateful farewell on his retirement
Wakefield grateful farewell

Wakefield was 11-3 when he was 45 years old in 2009 when he made his only All-Star Game, becoming the second-oldest player ever selected for his first All-Star Game — after Satchel Paige — who was selected for the 1952 game at 46. Wakefield retired 11 days after gaining his 200th win in September 2011 and ending his last 18 batters with strikeouts.

Tim Wakefield’s Retirement

He announced his retirement after spring training and retirement, breaking records for Clemens and Young’s wins with the French Franchise.

“I’m still competitive, but ultimately I think this is the best for the Red Sox,” he said at the time. “In my opinion, this is the best for my family. And if you ask honestly, winning seven games can’t make me a different person or a better man. “Hence, my presence is truly essential for my family at home.”

Tim Wakefield’s Career Transformation

Selected in the eighth round of the 1988 Pittsburgh draft, Wakefield changed the course of his career in a 48-minute bullpen session two years later, earning his call-up in the middle of the 1992 season and finishing the year 8-1 with a 2.95 ERA and third in voting for NL Rookie of the Year.

He played two complete games in the NL playoff to keep Pittsburgh alive — one of them in Game 6. (He was voted MVP of the series at the end of Game 7, before Atlanta’s Francisco Cabrera singled with two outs in the ninth under nine.)

Tim Wakefield throughout his Career
Tim Wakefield throughout his Career

But Wakefield was unsuccessful with a 5.61 ERA in his second year in Pittsburgh. After another trip through the minors with the help of the Kazakhs, he was released and then signed by the Red Sox six days later.

Wakefield began another successful run in 1995, starting 14-1 before finishing the season 16-8 with a 2.95 ERA. After 17 seasons with Boston, he retired as the franchise leader in innings and strikeouts, second in games and strikeouts.

In total, he was 200-180 with a 4.41 ERA.

Tim Wakefield: The Community Champion

Wakefield was also an eight-time nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which honors a player for exemplary play and community involvement, which he won in 2010.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement that “Tim was not only an outstanding and dependable All-Star pitcher but also a highly respected teammate, and “a two-time World Series champion.” “He acknowledged Wakefield’s philanthropic efforts and commitment to supporting the communities of New England.

Tim Wakefield: A Legacy Beyond the Field

After retiring, Wakefield became a broadcaster for Red Sox publications and remained active in the team’s charitable organizations.

Red Sox owner John Henry said, “Tim’s kindness and unwavering commitment were legendary, much like his knuckleball.” “He not only mesmerized us on the field but was also an exceptional athlete whose legacy transcended record books. He embodied the meaning of being a member of the Boston Red Sox and truly epitomized the joy of what it means to be a Boston Red Sox player and all the pain we all felt.”

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