Former knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield dies of cancer at age 57

Tim and Stacy Wakefield

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Tim Wakefield of Melbourne, Florida died on Sunday at the age of 57. The cause of death was brain cancer. During his playing career, Wakefield was known as one of the premier knuckleball pitchers in the game. He was with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1992 to 1993, and with the Boston Red Sox from 1995 to 2011. Known for his longevity, Wakefield spent 19 seasons in Major League Baseball.

Great Rookie Season

Wakefield pitched in 13 games as a rookie with the Pirates in 1992, and had a sparkling record of eight wins, one loss, one shutout, and an earned run average of 2.15. He finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting behind Eric Karros of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Moises Alou of the Montreal Expos. In Wakefield’s Major League debut on July 31, 1992, he had 10 strikeouts in a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, where he threw a complete game, and gave up zero earned runs. Then on August 26, 1992, Wakefield threw a complete game shutout in a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Career MLB Statistics

Wakefield pitched in 627 games and had a record of 200 wins and 180 losses with an earned run average of 4.41. In 3226 1/3 innings pitched, he gave up 3152 hits, 1582 earned runs, and 1205 walks, to go along with 2156 strikeouts, 33 complete games, six shutouts, 22 saves, and a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.35.

Two-time World Series Champion

Wakefield was part of the Red Sox teams that won the 2004 and 2007 World Series. In 2004, the Red Sox beat the Cardinals and 2007 beat the Colorado Rockies.

All-Star Season

Wakefield was an American League All-Star with the Red Sox in 2009. In 21 games, he had a record of 11 wins and five losses with an earned run average of 4.58 and a WHIP of 1.44. Wakefield had two complete games, and threw 129 2/3 innings pitched. He gave up 137 hits, 66 earned runs, and 50 walks, to go along with 72 strikeouts. Wakefield’s complete games came in an 8-2 Red Sox win over the Oakland Athletics on April 15, 2009 and in a 10-1 Red Sox win over the Minnesota Twins on April 22, 2009.



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