Longtime Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield dies at 57
Longtime Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield passed away on Sunday, the team has announced. He was 57 years old.
Wakefield spent 19 seasons in the Major Leagues, with the final 17 of those coming in Boston. No pitcher in the history of the organization started more games (430) or pitched more innings (3,006) than Wakefield. The knuckleballer won two World Series with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007, and made an All-Star Game in 2009. He was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2016. In his career, he won exactly 200 games.
Following his playing career, Wakefield remained involved with the team both as an advisor and broadcaster. He also was involved with multiple philanthropic efforts both during and after his career, including being the honorary chairman of the Red Sox foundation. In 2010 he was the recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award, and in 2011, the Boston chapter of the BBWAA announced the start of an annual Tim Wakefield Community Service Award in his honor.
The Red Sox released the following statement on Wakefield’s passing – “Wake embodied true goodness; a devoted husband, father, and teammate, beloved broadcaster, and the ultimate community leader. He gave so much to the game and all of Red Sox Nation. Our deepest love and thoughts are with Stacy, Trevor, Brianna, and the Wakefield family.”
“Tim’s kindness and indomitable spirit were as legendary as his knuckleball,” Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry said in a statement. “He not only captivated us on the field but was the rare athlete whose legacy extended beyond the record books to the countless lives he touched with his warmth and genuine spirit. He had a remarkable ability to uplift, inspire, and connect with others in a way that showed us the true definition of greatness. He embodied the very best of what it means to be a member of the Boston Red Sox and his loss is felt deeply by all of us.”
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred also released a statement, saying, “we are deeply saddened by the loss of Tim Wakefield, one of the most unique pitchers of his generation and a key part of the most successful era in the history of the Boston Red Sox. Tim’s knuckleball allowed him to excel as a rookie with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1992. In 1995, he began a 17-year tenure in Boston, where he made a mark that will be remembered forever. Tim was more than just a versatile and reliable All-Star pitcher, a highly respected teammate, and a two-time World Series Champion. In 2010, Tim was named the Roberto Clemente Award winner for the dedicated work he and his family did serving the communities of New England. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Tim’s family, his friends and teammates across the game, and Red Sox fans everywhere. We will continue to support our partners at Stand Up To Cancer in the memory of Tim and all those who are in the fight against this disease.”
Earlier this week, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said on his podcast that Wakefield was suffering from brain cancer. The Red Sox responded with a statement acknowledging the information had been shared against the family’s wishes, but not confirming Wakefield’s illness.
Wakefield is survived by his wife, Stacy, and their children, Trevor and Brianna.