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#pounditMonday, May 20, 2024

Ex-Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield dies — dead at 57

Tim Wakefield delivers a pitch

July 7, 2010; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Tim Wakefield (49) during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox are mourning the loss of former pitcher and famed knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

The Red Sox on Sunday announced that Wakefield has died at age 57.

Word surfaced earlier this week that Wakefield had been battling brain cancer. Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who won two World Series with Wakefield in Boston, revealed on his podcast that Wakefield and his wife Stacy both had cancer.

Wakefield had wanted to keep the news of his health issues quiet, which led to serious backlash toward Schilling from some associated with the team.

Wakefield, who is widely considered one of the best knuckleball pitchers of all time, began his MLB career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He made his major league debut with the franchise in 1992. He struggled with control and lost his starting spot in the rotation before being released early on in the 1995 season.

Wakefield then signed with the Red Sox and enjoyed a long and successful career in Boston. He pitched for the Red Sox for 17 seasons.

After allowing a crushing extra-innings home run to former New York Yankees infielder Aaron Boone in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, Wakefield bounced back the following year to help the Red Sox break their 86-year championship drought. The right-hander played a big role in Boston’s historic comeback against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS.

An All-Star in 2009, Wakefield finished his career with a 200-180 record, 4.41 ERA and 2,156 strikeouts. His popularity among Red Sox fans helped him land a job as an analyst with NESN, where he had worked since 2012.

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