The Red Sox revealed World Series hero and knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield passed away. Earlier, Curt Schilling exposed Wakefield privately battled a deadly illness. Wakefield threw the knuckleball to great success for two decades.
Drafted as a hitter, Wakefield converted to pitching in the minors after mastering the fluttering knuckleball. He dominated with the old-fashioned pitch, winning 200 career games, mostly for Boston.
Wakefield’s role in epic Red Sox-Yankees playoffs battles of the early 2000s made him a fan favorite. After blowing a save in 2003, he helped Boston rally from 0–3 down to stun New York and win in 2004.
Making his lone All-Star team at 45, Wakefield became the second oldest ever. He retired at 46 with the second most Red Sox wins, just short of the record.
Wakefield spent his retirement giving back through charities. The Red Sox honored his kindness and fighting spirit which lifted many beyond baseball. His loss deeply saddens the club and fans he inspired.