"In Memoriam: Tim Wakefield, Beloved Red Sox Legend and World Series Champion Passes Away"redsox,timwakefield,worldserieschampion,inmemoriam
"In Memoriam: Tim Wakefield, Beloved Red Sox Legend and World Series Champion Passes Away"

“In Memoriam: Tim Wakefield, Beloved Red Sox Legend and World Series Champion Passes Away”

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Beloved Boston Red Sox Pitcher Tim Wakefield Dies at 57

Sun 1 Oct 2023 20.44 BST

Tim Wakefield, the knuckleball pitcher who played a pivotal role in helping the Boston Red Sox win their curse-breaking World Series title in 2004, has passed away at the age of 57. The Red Sox announced his death in a statement on Sunday. Wakefield had been battling brain cancer, a fact revealed by his former teammate Curt Schilling on a recent podcast. This news garnered an outpouring of support for Wakefield. The Red Sox had acknowledged an illness but had respected Wakefield’s privacy by not providing any further details.

Wakefield’s journey to becoming a pitcher was unconventional. He was initially drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a first baseman and set home run records in college. However, after mastering the knuckleball in the minor leagues, he made the switch to pitching. His unique pitch, which had fallen out of favor, proved to be his key to success. Wakefield went on to win 200 games in the major leagues, with 186 of those wins coming with the Red Sox. In the franchise’s history, only Cy Young and Roger Clemens have more wins.

A Fan Favorite and Rivalry Impact

While Wakefield’s statistics were impressive, it was his role in the intense Red Sox-Yankees rivalry during the early 2000s that truly endeared him to fans. One unforgettable moment was during Game 7 of the 2003 AL Championship Series. With the game tied, Wakefield came in to relieve and Aaron Boone hit his first pitch for a walkoff home run, ending Boston’s season. This heartbreaking loss extended the Red Sox’s World Series drought that dated back to 1918. However, the following October, Wakefield played a vital role in Boston’s comeback against the Yankees in the ALCS, pitching 9 extra innings in Game 5. This set up David Ortiz’s heroics in the 14th inning, and the Red Sox ultimately went on to win the World Series, breaking their 86-year championship drought.

Wakefield’s impact on his teammates cannot be understated. Former teammate Kevin Youkilis spoke fondly of him during a recent Red Sox game broadcast, highlighting Wakefield’s competitiveness on the mound and his genuine friendship. Wakefield’s achievements include winning two World Series championships with his beloved team in 2004 and 2007.

A Remarkable Career and Community Involvement

In 2009, Wakefield made his only All-Star Game appearance, becoming the second-oldest player, after Satchel Paige, to be selected for his first All-Star Game. In September 2011, at the age of 45, Wakefield earned his 200th win, making him the oldest player in baseball at that time. He retired the following spring training, just seven wins shy of breaking the Red Sox’s franchise record for wins held by Clemens and Young. Throughout his career, Wakefield demonstrated his versatility and reliability as a pitcher, finishing with a record of 200-180 and a 4.41 ERA.

Wakefield’s impact extended beyond the baseball field. He was an eight-time nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes players’ sportsmanship and community involvement. Wakefield won the award in 2010. Throughout his retirement, he continued to support the Red Sox by working as a broadcaster and remaining active in the team’s charities. His kindness and indomitable spirit were widely recognized, and he touched countless lives through his genuine warmth and generosity. It is clear that Wakefield embodied the true spirit of the Boston Red Sox and his loss is deeply felt by all.

Editorial and Advice

Tim Wakefield’s passing is a tremendous loss for the Boston Red Sox community and the baseball world at large. His career accomplishments, especially his contributions to the team’s historic 2004 World Series victory, will forever be remembered. Wakefield’s transition from first baseman to pitcher showcases the importance of adaptability and perseverance. His mastery of the knuckleball revived a pitch that had fallen out of favor, highlighting the value of unconventional approaches and innovation.

Furthermore, Wakefield’s impact on charitable work and community involvement serves as an inspiration for athletes and individuals alike. He consistently demonstrated his commitment to making a positive difference in people’s lives, both on and off the field. Wakefield’s recognition as a winner of the Roberto Clemente Award reflects the importance of using one’s platform and success to uplift and support others.

As we mourn the loss of Tim Wakefield, let us remember his legacy as a talented pitcher, a beloved teammate, and a philanthropist. His remarkable career and selfless dedication to his community should serve as a reminder that sports have the power to bring people together and make a lasting impact beyond the game itself.


"In Memoriam: Tim Wakefield, Beloved Red Sox Legend and World Series Champion Passes Away"
<< photo by Megan Ellis >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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    G'day, mates! I'm Greg Buckley, and I've been reporting here in the land Down Under for the last 15 years. I'm all about sports and culture, so if there's a footy match or an art exhibit, you'll likely see me there. Let's give it a burl together, Australia!

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