Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Heavy

It's no secret that Tim Wakefield has been my favorite Sox player for a long time (followed by Pesky, DiMaggio, Pedroia, Yaz, Tony C, and yes Manny, too.) I thought Wake should have been on the All Star Team last year, as he had a formidable stretch in his last 7 games before the ASG (7+ innings each game, 1.98 ERA), but since Tito was the manager, and there were several Sox already on the team, he had to pass on Wake. (He had to pass on Lester, too, who was also having a monster year.)

In today's Boston Globe, Adam Kilgore tells the great story of Wake's success and difficulties in Pittsburgh back in '92 and '93. Pittsburgh released him after going 6-11, with a 5.61 ERA in '93. Dan Duquette, as GM of the old Montreal Expos, had seen him pitch in his rookie year of '92, when he went 8-1, 2.15 ERA, and snatched him up on opening day '94. He firmly believed that Wake was the difference in Pittsburgh making it to the post-season that year and not the Expos. Wake has been with the Sox ever since, quietly going about his business. Kilgore tells of Wake learning from Charlie Hough, his friendship with another well respected Sox, Mike Timlin, his team leading community appearances, and his charitable work for The Franciscan Hospital for Children.

Wake has had some up years and some down years along the way, and while his numbers may not get him into the MLB HoF, he most certainly be will be in the Red Sox HoF. He is bearing down on a couple of notable milestones: he has 189 career wins right now, 2910+ IP, and 1968 K's. Knuckleballers historically have pitched well into their mid and late 40's, so here's hoping that we still see Wake in a Sox uni for a few more years to come.

As an aside, my brother in RI, yard sale and flea market wiz that he is, gave me a Wakefield Pittsburgh shirt years ago, but my ex-wife.....

Ah, what are exes for anyhow? Who knew? Who could have known?



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