By: Tom Nappi
Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield retired Friday February 17th 2012 and should be remembered forever as one of the greatest and most loyal Red Sox of all time. Wakefield was an outstanding pitcher throughout his Red Sox career and for the most part always came through with an impressive performance when called upon as a starter, reliever, set up guy or closer. He Started off his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1992, but was acquired by the Boston Red Sox in 1995, which he debuted with a 16-8 record and a 2.95 E.R.A.
Tim Wakefield was one of the rarest pitchers in the league surviving primarily with his knuckleball, his most noted failure was the Yankess Aaron Boone home run given up by Wakefield in 2003 to give the Yankees the ALCS victory, but Wakefield would avenge that fault by being huge in the 2004 and 2007 playoffs, which gave him the chance to end his career with 2 Red Sox World Series rings. What Tim Wakefield did in the Majors was truly unique and he showed a style of pitching that is unlike mostly any other in which you don't need speed but you need accuracy and movement, and gave hope to up and coming knuckleballers around the world. Watching Wakefield pitch throughout my life was truly a great experience and I will always remember him as one of the greatest Boston Red Sox of all time.
Tim Wakefield finishes his career with a record of 200 Wins and 180 Losses with a 4.41 E.R.A., 2156 Strike Outs and only a .254 batting average for opposing batters. Tim enjoy retired life with your family and friends and I hope you are back very soon for an honorary pre-game ceremony, preferably for another World Series or maybe we will see you sometime soon take a coaching role!
The Boston Red Sox have been on a slide as of late losing 7 of their last 10 games. Tim Wakefield got the nod tonight against Brandon Morrow and the Toronto Blue Jays, in his 8th attempt at career win number 200. Going into the 4th inning the Sox were down 5-4 but the bats would heat up as the Sox put up 14 more runs in the 18-6 victory over the Blue Jays. Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury both went 4 for 5. Wakefield may have given up 5 earned runs tonight, but a little help from the line up helped Wakefield to his 200th career win! Tim Wakefield has been pitching in the majors for 19+ years (since 1992) and has a career record of 200-178.
Congratulations to Tim Wakefield for becoming the 61st pitcher in Baseball History with at least 200 Wins!
Another major accomplishment happened tonight besides Tim Wakefield getting his 200th win and that was Closer Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees getting his 600th career save in the Yankees 3-2 victory over the Mariners. Rivera is the 2nd Closer in Baseball History to get at least 600 saves, only the retired former Padres Closer Trevor Hoffman has more saves than Rivera at 601. Catcher Russell Martin threw out Ichiro Suzuki on an attempted steal in the bottom of the 9th to help one of the greatest closers of all time get his 600th career save.