Tim Wakefield To Announce Retirement

Tim Wakefield will announce his retirement at a press conference later today, according to a Red Sox media release.  The veteran knuckleballer had been considering the decision, saying that while he was interested in pitching in 2012, his first choice would be to return to the Red Sox, who were only offering him a minor league contract.

Wakefield, 45, was an eighth-round pick for the Pirates in the 1988 amateur draft.  He burst onto the Major League scene in 1992 by posting a 2.15 ERA in 13 starts to help Pittsburgh win the NL East, and also went 2-0 in his two NLCS starts.  Wakefield struggled afterwards, however, and was eventually released by the Bucs during Spring Training in 1995.  He signed with the Red Sox six days later and the rest was history, as Wakefield went on to spend the next 17 seasons hurling his knuckler at Fenway Park.

Wakefield retires with a career 200-180 record, a 4.41 ERA and 2156 strikeouts over 3226 1/3 innings pitched.  He is Boston's all-time leader in starts and innings pitched, and his 186 wins with the Red Sox ranks him third on the franchise's all-time wins list, just six behind Roger Clemens and Cy Young's shared mark of 192.  According to Baseball Reference, Wakefield earned just under $56MM in his 19-year career.

53 Responses to Tim Wakefield To Announce Retirement Leave a Reply

  1. Dan Gorgone 3 years ago

    What a career… Thanks to Wake for being part of 2 World Championships, a real team player, and a great humanitarian off the field. Hope to see #49 on the green facade in Fenway some day.

    • chico65 3 years ago

      It’s safe to say he’s left quite a wake behind him, the ripple effects of which will continue to be felt. 

      Thanks for all of the memories, Wake, and keep yourself in shape- I’m sure the Sox will need some starting help by the end of the season. 

  2. AmericanMovieFan 3 years ago

    One hell of a career. He’ll def. be a HOFer and might even get his number retired.

    (Though, wouldn’t people say number retirement becomes complicated as the years go on, seeing as how we’re gonna inevitably have to see guys wearing uniform 100, etc., which would just be weird.)

    • yg49 3 years ago

      Definitely a Hall of Famer? In what world?

      • Tko11 3 years ago

        Red Sox hall of fame probably…Mlb Hall of Fame = definitely not

    • pedroia15 3 years ago

      Great guy and fan favorite, but he wouldn’t even get 1 vote for the HOF.  He was an average SP for like 20 years.  Only aces go to the Hall.  He only had 2 years in his entire career with an ERA below 3.90.

      • Paul Shailor 3 years ago

        Come on now Peter Gammons has a vote so he will get one! I mean he wont make it to the 2nd year on the ballot but still.

    • MB923 3 years ago

      “He’ll def. be a HOFer”

      I stopped reading after I read that.

      • RedSx799 3 years ago

        He will definitely be a Hall of Famer.

        A Red Sox Hall of Famer. They have their own Hall of Fame, just like many other teams. He won’t make it to Cooperstown, no, not by a mile. 200 wins is nice, and phenomenal as a knuckleballer, but the 180 losses and the 4.41 career ERA isn’t good enough. Wakefield will be inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame, likely immediately, and I could see them waiving the requirements they have for number retirement and doing it on opening day or the 100 Anniversary of Fenway Park

        • MB923 3 years ago

          Well I’m not the only one apparently who thought he was talking about Cooperstown.

          • RedSx799 3 years ago

             well he might have been talking about the Big Hall in Cooperstown but that’s simply not going to happen. But he is a stone cold lock for Red Sox Hall of Fame. Same with ‘Tek when he hangs up his cleats. I do predict 33 and 49 will be retired by the Sox. although they still haven’t retired #24 (Dwight Evans), 25 (Tony C) or 45 (Pedro Martinez), so who knows what they’ll do.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Well I don’t know how it works, but does everyone who is in the Red Sox HOF have their number retired?

          • RedSx799 3 years ago

             no right now the only ones they have retired are Doerr (1), Cronin (4), Pesky (6) Yaz (8) Teddy Ball Game (9) Rice (14), Fisk (27) and of course Robinson (42). Evans (24) and Pedro (45) deserve it IMHO, and of course I think Wakey deserves it. Basically the Sox have a convoluted set of requirements to have your number retired. If everyone in their HOF had theirs retired they’d be issuing 3-digit uniform numbers

          • DunkinDonuts 3 years ago

            One of those criteria is election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. So Wakefield’s number will not be retired unless the Red Sox change their policy.

          • RedSx799 3 years ago

            Johnny Pesky’s number is retired (“Pesky (6)” above) and he isn’t in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. They could very well make an exception for Wakefield given his accomplishments and to a lesser extent his philanthropic endeavors

          • RedSoxDynasty 3 years ago

            Yeah, Dewey and Pedro head and shoulders over Wake and Tek as Red Sox players who should be in the Red Sox HOF and that’s no disrespect intended!

          • RedSx799 3 years ago

             Dewey and Pedro are both in the Red Sox HoF AFAIK. And the four of them all deserve it.

          • RedSoxDynasty 3 years ago

            Yeah, Dewey and Pedro head and shoulders over Wake and Tek as Red Sox players who should be in the Red Sox HOF and that’s no disrespect intended!

          • yg49 3 years ago

            No you are not..generally when saying the term “Hall of Famer” in regards to a baseball player, Cooperstown is what is meant.

    • NomarGarciaparra 3 years ago

       You accidentally a word.

      “He’ll def. NOT be a HOFer…”

  3. EarlyMorningBoxscore 3 years ago

    Wake was always one of my favorite pitchers. He was a big part of 2 WS in Boston and was tremendous in the community (won the Roberto Clemente award recently). Thanks for the memories Wake. 

    • imachainsaw 3 years ago

       my favorite pitchers tend to be good

      • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

        do you mean great? wakefield was good for quite a long time

        • imachainsaw 3 years ago

           ‘good’ and ‘mediocre’ aren’t synonyms

  4. ellisburks 3 years ago

    He had a great career considering he started off as a no hit/no glove middle infielder. I remember him joining the Red Sox and not expecting anything. Instead he gave them 186 wins and helping to get 2 WS Championships. And he was nothing but professional on and off the field. He influenced my pitching too as I became a knuckleballer, although not as accomplished ;). 
    I wish him nothing but the best in his retirement and I hope he enjoys his time with his family.

    Congratulations Timmy!

  5. casz40 3 years ago

    Whoa hold on here dude HOF er?? Maybe Red Sox Hall of fame for sure but not baseballs HOF…Tks for your great Red Sox career wake and best of luck in your future endeavours!

  6. Dan Mazzaro 3 years ago

    200 wins is a nice round number. Good luck to him and hopefully we get some knuckleballers in years to come.

  7. yg49 3 years ago

    As a Yankee fan I  will always remember him walking off the mound after the Aaron Boone HR, BUT..if I were forced to pick one Red Sox player to like, he would have been it. Always went about his business, never had a bad word to say and carried himself like a gentleman.  Good luck to him!

    • 2001morecowbell2001 3 years ago

      Beat me to it. Despite my fandom Ive got nothing bad to say about Wake because of how he played the game and carried himself. Congrats on a fantastic career and enjoy your retirement.

    • MB923 3 years ago

      Completely agree. 

  8. diddykong 3 years ago

    This is what I had hoped would happen all offseason, and now that I got my wish I’m bummed that I did.

  9. redsx968 3 years ago

    Ubelievable career Timmy. I was hoping to see you go till 50, but I respect that you realized when your time came and that you needed to hang ’em up. You have been on the Sox since I started following, and you were respectable, kind, and a good role model. Enjoy your retirement. I hope to still see you with the Sox in some capacity

  10. philpbarnes 3 years ago

    Thanks for everything Wake! True Sox legend! Enjoy your retirement.

  11. Leonard Washington 3 years ago

    Unbelievable career Wake. You gave us everything you could, and we will always love ya for it. Wish you got that all time wins record but I guess it was not to be. I remember that licking we took against the Yanks in the 04 in the ALCS, they scored 19 points against us, I watched every horrible moment of it. They were all tired but you took the call and saved the arms of the entire team in doing it. That was one of the most selfless things I have ever seen a ball player do. We went on to win that series and the world series in the greatest comeback in MLB history. Thank you. You are a king in Boston forever. Thanks for everything you did for kids too, you are one of the most generous ball players off the field of all time, if they had a hall for that you would be sitting Babe status. 

  12. Mikey Roederer 3 years ago

    Congrats on an amazing career Timmy…

  13. Just stumbled upon this on Baseball Ref: Wakefield’s ’92 Bucs teammate Doug Drabek is only 3 years older than the knuckleballer. It’s a testament to his longevity and durability that in Wakefield’s last season in the majors, Doug’s son Kyle broke camp with the Blue Jays.

    EDIT: sorry that’s 4 years older.

  14. Sully65 3 years ago

    Thank you Knuckles! This first World Series was brought home because of the sacrafices you made for the TEAM! You are and will remain a Red Sox Forever

  15. Manny's PS2 3 years ago

    I’m sure he’s not a HOF’er, but he’ll get a few votes.  Saying he’ll get 0 is just as ridiculous as saying he’s a sure thing for Cooperstown. Javy Lopez got one as did Kevin Freaking Appier, and Brad Radke got 2.  He’ll surely get a few votes…Not that any of that really matters.  He had a great career and will never pay for a beer in Boston again.

  16. As Will Carroll once said, “If you can’t love a knuckleball, go watch the NBA.”

    I’m not a Red Sox fan, but baseball was a better sport for having Wakefield around.

  17. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

    The very definition of a classy player. Thanks for everything Wake!

  18. Karkat 3 years ago

    Hat’s off to you, Tim. Truly a class act. Thank you for years of doing whatever the team needed without a word of complaint. Without your essential bullpen appearance in the 2004 ALCS, we may never have won the championship.

  19. alan104 3 years ago

    It was fun watching that knuckballer baffle hitters. It was fun watching catchers running after passed balls. Wakefield was truly fun to watch, you never knew what to expect. When his game was on his was one of the best. When it was off he could be extremely bad. One has to admire his longevity. I always rooted for Wake because I enjoyed his competiveness over the years. A great guy, he deserves and will get alot of recognition from the Red Sox organization and their fans.

  20. Eugene_in_Oregon 3 years ago

    Always sad to see a knuckleballer leave the majors…we need more of them, not fewer.

  21. Crosstownkid 3 years ago

    Seems like every time I went to a game wake was pitching and it always kept me on the edge of my seat but I enjoyed watching him pitch good luck in the future Wakefield thanks for the memories

  22. RedSx799 3 years ago

    we love you Wake. 200 wins as a knuckleballer!

  23. hawkny1 3 years ago

    $56,000,000 eh?  Not to shabby.  Its time to enjoy some of that loot now Tim.
    Go get Timlin, some bait, and go fishing in the Gulf of Mexico….
    Catch some big ones…..

  24. ssjeter 3 years ago

    How can you have 9 losing seasons and be considered anything but below average.  Have the RS had any losing seasons since he’s been on the team (not sure, but doubt it).  So the team has been better when he doesn’t pitch than when he does.  But sure, retire his number…

    • ellisburks 3 years ago

      Hey trolly trollerson, how are things under the bridge?

    • Thomas 3 years ago

      Oh, so a win/loss record is relevant to how good a pitcher is? Wait a minute, OMG, didn’t a pitcher with a 12-11 record win the Cy a couple years ago? From someone who isn’t even a RS fan, stop.

  25. Tko11 3 years ago

    Wakefield was great, I like the fact that he conducted himself well on and especially off the field. His longevity is remarkable and it was fun watching him throw 70mph fastballs and still get swings and misses. Great guy overall and he must be inducted into the Red Sox HOF. 

  26. wakefield4life 3 years ago


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