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.


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53 Comments on "Tim Wakefield To Announce Retirement"


Dan Gorgone
3 years 6 months 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 6 months 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. 

AmericanMovieFan
3 years 6 months 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 6 months ago

Definitely a Hall of Famer? In what world?

Tko11
Tko11
3 years 6 months ago

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

pedroia15
3 years 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months ago

“He’ll def. be a HOFer”

I stopped reading after I read that.

RedSx799
3 years 6 months 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 6 months ago

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

RedSx799
3 years 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months ago

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

RedSoxDynasty
3 years 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months ago

 You accidentally a word.

“He’ll def. NOT be a HOFer…”

FunkyTime
3 years 6 months ago

You accidentally a word too.

EarlyMorningBoxscore
3 years 6 months 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 6 months ago

 my favorite pitchers tend to be good

notsureifsrs
3 years 6 months ago

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

imachainsaw
3 years 6 months ago

 ‘good’ and ‘mediocre’ aren’t synonyms

ellisburks
3 years 6 months 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!

stevecaz
3 years 6 months 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!

Dan Mazzaro
3 years 6 months ago

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

yg49
3 years 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months ago

Completely agree. 

diddykong
3 years 6 months ago

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

leberquesgue
3 years 6 months ago

Well said, but it’s for the best.

redsx968
3 years 6 months 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

philpbarnes
3 years 6 months ago

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

Leonard Washington
3 years 6 months 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. 

Mikey Roederer
3 years 6 months ago

Congrats on an amazing career Timmy…

3 years 6 months ago

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.

Sully65
3 years 6 months 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

Manny's PS2
3 years 6 months 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.

3 years 6 months ago

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.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 6 months ago

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

Karkat
3 years 6 months 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.

alan104
3 years 6 months 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.

Eugene_in_Oregon
3 years 6 months ago

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