The Boston Crimson Sox introduced on Sunday that long-time pitcher and World Sequence champion Tim Wakefield died on the age of 57. It was simply revealed this week by former teammate Curt Schilling, with out Wakefield’s consent, that he was combating mind most cancers.
The Crimson Sox responded by acknowledging Wakefield was combating an sickness however didn’t elaborate.
Wakefield had an unbelievable 19-year profession as probably the most distinguished knuckleballers in baseball historical past, leading to two World Sequence championships in 2004 and 2007. Probably the most unbelievable a part of that profession is that he by no means meant to be a pitcher within the Main Leagues.
He was initially chosen by the Pittsburgh Pirates within the first spherical of the 1988 draft as a power-hitting first baseman who had set the house run file at Florida Tech.
However when he first arrived within the Pirates minor league system, it turned instantly obvious that he was struggling to hit skilled pitching, hanging out as soon as each three at-bats.
It was throughout his first yr that one of many Pirates developmental coaches noticed Wakefield messing round with a knuckleball throughout a sport of catch and inspired him to proceed working at it, as a result of it was unlikely he would make it above Double-A as a place participant.
So he did.
Wakefield made a lot progress with it that he was known as as much as Pittsburgh in the course of the 1992 season, turned a right away star of their pitching employees and helped them win the Nationwide League East division title. He finally made his option to Boston following the 1994 season and have become a long-time staple on the Crimson Sox pitching employees.
For his profession, Wakefield appeared in 627 video games, posting a 200-180 file and a 4.41 ERA. He additionally struck out 2,156 batters. He recorded 2,046 of these strikeouts as a member of the Crimson Sox, putting him second on the franchise’s all-time leaderboard behind solely Roger Clemens (and only one spot forward of Pedro Martinez).
Wakefield is thought to be among the best knuckleball pitchers of all time. A 2022 rating at MLB.com had him slotted third behind solely Phil Niekro and Hoyt Wilhelm.
His profession could not have been nice sufficient to earn him a spot in Cooperstown, however he actually has an necessary place in Crimson Sox historical past for being part of the workforce that ended the Curse of the Bambino and for being probably the most profitable pitchers in franchise historical past.