Tim Wakefield honored, “Thanks Wake” Day before yesterday’s game

On top of a great win, before the game yesterday the Red Sox had “Thanks Wake” Day and had wonderful ceremony honoring Tim Wakefield, who retired in February, and his 17 years of service to the Boston Red Sox, the community, and the fans. I especially enjoyed Mirabelli’s entrance which you may watch here. Mirabelli’s entrance yesterday was reminstance of his entrance in May 2006 when “Mirabelli famously arrived in a Massachusetts State Police car after the Red Sox had reacquired the catcher to be Wakefield’s personal catcher because Josh Bard had trouble catching Wakefield’s knuckleballs. Mirabelli was delayed in transit the day the Sox traded for him, but he was needed because Wakefield was scheduled to start that day” (Boston Globe). If you’d like to watch the ceremony, you may do so here at soxanddawgs.com.

“Wakefield signed with the Sox in 1995 after an up-and-down career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He would not wear another major league jersey. In his 17 years with the Sox, Wakefield finished with a 186-168 record, six wins behind Roger Clemens and Cy Young for most victories by a Sox pitcher. He logged 3,006 innings, most in team history, and finished with a 4.43 career ERA in 590 appearances. Wakefield also compiled 22 saves and grabbed win No. 200 of his career last season before retiring this spring” (Boston Herald).

Matthew West
Tim Wakefield acknowledges the Fenway Faithful yesterday before throwing out the first pitch at the Red Sox game.

Wakefield’s speech

“I have to thank the Red Sox organization for giving me the best 17 years of my life. I have to thank my teammates, the former ones that I played with. You guys have always had my back and I’ll have yours forever. Thank you for your support. Last but not least the fans, like I said in February, every time I took this mound I gave everything I had and every time I walked off you guys always gave me a standing ovation and I will cherish the memories that we shared together from ’04-’07 and all the 17 years in between. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you guys and that’s for being here today.”

Red Sox Honor Tim Wakefield (Boston Globe)

By Seth Lasko |  Globe Correspondent

May 15, 2012

Prior to the game the Red Sox compiled several statements from former friends and teammates of Wakefield and distributed them to the press.

Here’s a few of the highlights:

Terry Francona:

“I think Wake’s career can be embodied by game three against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. With the team down, he came to me in the fourth inning and asked what he could do. He pitched more than three innings in that game, sacrificing his start the next day for the good of the team. A lot of what he did when under the radar. I wish him congratulations on a wonderful career and hope his second career is as good as his first.”

Jason Varitek:

“There is so much to say about Wake. He has been a part of so many things and he’s meant so much to the game, the organization, the community, and personally as a friend and teammate for 14 years. He is a consummate professional with a one-of-a-kind talent that allowed his team flexibility, dependability, and endurance for 17 years. His competitiveness will be missed but his legacy and friendship will last a lifetime. It’s sad to see it end but this will be an exciting new chapter for him in his life.”

Nomar Garciaparra:

“It’s truly been an honor to play with him for so many years. Every game he gave it his all, supported his teammates, and his professionalism was second to none. For me to play with him was an honor, but it’s even a better honor to know him as a friend.”

Mike Andrews, Dana-Farber Trustee and Former Chairman of the Jimmy Fund:

“To me, Tim is everything a professional athlete should be. He handled himself in such a professional way as far as his baseball career goes and he has done what I would hope and what most people would hope professional athletes would do off the field in his charitable endeavors. We he did for the Jimmy Fund is second to none. He is beloved by so many kids and adults alike at the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It’s awesome what he did for the kids. I know he will be successful in whatever he chooses to do going forward.”

Prior to the ceremony, current Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine shared his thoughts on whether he believes baseball will ever see another knuckleballer be as successful and valuable to his team as Wake was for the Red Sox.

“[For anyone to ever be] as good as Tim would be very tough,” said Valentine. “He was a real valuable type of pitcher. He was a great ‘go-to’ guy. A couple hundred wins, there’s no diminishing the value of being out there when your team wins 200 times, extremely impressive.”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: