Tim Wakefield, the rare Boston athlete that was universally loved
Not too many athletes are loved by everyone…
Marc Bertrand: Horrible, horrible news and a real gut punch to anyone who has been a Red Sox fan for decades and has known Tim Wakefield to be a part of that experience for decades. Whether you watched him on the field or saw him in the booth or were touched by him in some way for all the charity work that he did with the Red Sox Foundation and Jimmy Fund.
This just feels really, really bad that Tim Wakefield, who everybody knew and loved, and that’s the thing I think that sticks out about Tim Wakefield and why this feels so bad and it’s so sad. He was in the rare class of Boston athlete who was universally liked. Really just universally liked, was never controversial as a player, really wasn’t.
We talk about players all the time, right? As fans, as media, you’re talking about the team. You’re criticizing a player. Tim Wakefield was never that guy. You will not find someone who says, ugh Tim Wakefield can’t stand that guy.
I’m talking strictly as a player, not as a person now, right as a player, which is how most people know him as a player. But I think it spoke to who he was from a personality standpoint too and I think everyone views that guy as who he truly was, which was a class act all the way. That’s who Tim Wakefield was.
So, I think that’s why it hurts because you rooted for him as a player. You had to have liked him. If you’re a Red Sox fan, you like Tim Wakefield. The more you know of him, the more you think of him.
Scott Zolak: I just like nice guys. Like I’ve done some stuff with him in the off-seasons, where you run into him at golf tournaments or events or speaking things that you do together. Sometimes you do it like, ‘Oh, this guy’s a phony.’ You know, this guy doesn’t like people. He’s just coming here and taking a check.
It’s one of THE most genuine guys I’ve been around in Boston. Just knowing the effect he had on people, with the Jimmy Fund and helping kids out. Just a likable guy who was different. He was a knuckleball pitcher. He wasn’t a guy that’s gonna blow you away with 98.