BOSTON (AP) — Tim Wakefield, the workhorse of the Purple Sox who bounced again after giving up a season-ending dwelling run to the Yankees within the 2003 playoffs to assist Boston win a World Collection title that broke the curse the next yr. , He died. He was 57 years previous.
The Purple Sox introduced his demise in an announcement on Sunday. Wakefield was affected by mind most cancers, based on former teammate Curt Schilling, who… The disease came out in a podcast final week — prompting an outpouring of help for Wakefield. The Purple Sox confirmed he examined constructive on the time, however didn’t present particulars, saying Wakefield had requested privateness.
Drafted by the Pirates as a primary baseman who set dwelling run information in school, Wakefield turned to pitcher after mastering soccer within the minor leagues. Counting on the now largely deserted previous ballpark, he went on to win 200 main league video games, together with 186 with the Purple Sox — trailing solely Cy Younger and Roger Clemens in franchise historical past.
However it was his function within the Purple Sox-Yankees rivalry within the early 2000s that turned Wakefield right into a fan-favorite participant whose influence far exceeded his numbers.
After New York rallied to tie Sport 7 of the ’03 AL Championship Collection, Wakefield got here on in reduction within the eleventh inning and Aaron Boone hit his first dwelling run to finish Boston’s season and prolong a World Collection drought that prolonged again to again. To 1918.
The next October, with the Purple Sox’ season in jeopardy once more towards the Yankees within the ALCS, Wakefield received 9 extra-run dwelling runs out of Sport 5, organising David Ortiz to win it within the 14th. The Purple Sox went on to finish their comeback from a three-games-to-nil deficit after which swept St. Louis within the World Collection to assert their first championship in 86 years.
The Purple Sox and Wakefield gained all of it once more in 2007.
“There have been some years the place I did not know if I used to be going to come back again or not,” Wakefield stated in his 2012 retirement press convention. “However I am so grateful that I used to be capable of put on this uniform for thus lengthy, and win two World Collection for this nice metropolis.”
Wakefield was 11-3 when he made his solely All-Star Sport in 2009, changing into the second-oldest participant — after Satchel Paige — to be chosen to his first All-Star Sport ever. Wakefield was the oldest participant in baseball at 45 when he earned his two hundredth win in September 2011, retiring his final six hits.
He introduced his retirement the next spring coaching, seven wins in need of breaking the franchise document set by Clemens and Younger.
“I am nonetheless a contender, however ultimately I believe that is what’s finest for the Purple Sox,” he stated on the time. “I believe that is what’s finest for my household. And to be trustworthy with you, seven wins will not make me a unique individual or a greater man. So, my household actually wants me at dwelling.”
Wakefield was chosen within the eighth spherical of the draft by Pittsburgh in 1988, and switched to pitcher two years later in an try and revive his probabilities of making the foremost leagues. He earned his call-up halfway by the 1992 season and went 8-1, ending third in NL Rookie of the 12 months voting.
He added two full video games within the Nationwide League playoffs – one in Sport 6 to maintain Pittsburgh alive. (He was voted the Collection’ MVP late in Sport 7, earlier than the Atlanta Braves rallied to win on Francisco Cabrera’s single with two out within the backside of the ninth.)
However Wakefield was unable to recapture the success of his second yr in Pittsburgh, the place he went 6-11 with a 5.61 ERA. The Pirates launched him after one other journey by the minors, and the Purple Sox signed him six days later.
Wakefield as soon as once more put collectively a dominant sequence, beginning 14-1 in 1995 earlier than ending the yr at 16-8 with a 2.95 ERA. After 17 seasons with Boston, he retired because the franchise chief with 3,006 innings pitched and 430 begins, second in video games and strikeouts.
Total, he was 200-180 with a 4.41 ERA.
Wakefield was additionally an eight-time nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, given to a ballplayer for exemplary sportsmanship and neighborhood involvement, which he gained in 2010. After his retirement, he grew to become a Purple Sox broadcast analyst and remained energetic within the workforce’s charities.
“Tim’s kindness and indomitable spirit have been as legendary as his soccer,” Purple Sox proprietor John Henry stated. “Not solely did he captivate us on the sector, he was the uncommon athlete whose legacy prolonged far past the document books to numerous lives he touched along with his heat and real spirit. He had an unimaginable capability to uplift, encourage and join with others in a means that confirmed us the true definition of greatness. He embodied the very best of what it means to be a member of the Boston Purple Sox, and his loss is deeply felt by all of us.”