As if this season hasn’t already been bad enough for the Red Sox, the organization received a devastating health update on former pitcher and current NESN analyst Tim Wakefield.
On Wednesday, Wakefield’s former teammate Curt Schilling revealed on his podcast that the 57-year-old has been diagnosed with brain cancer.
Tim Wakefield News
This is a major blow to Red Sox Nation, as Wakefield has been a beloved part of the franchise for nearly three decades now.
Wakefield, who stood out on the diamond as one of the league’s few knuckleball pitchers, was a mainstay of Boston’s pitching staff from 1995 until his final MLB season in 2011. He helped the team win two World Series during that time and earned a number of personal accolades as well, making an All-Star team and finishing his career with exactly 200 wins. He is the franchise leader in innings pitched (3,006) and ranks third among all Sox pitchers in wins (186) — a testament to his perseverance and longevity.
While Wakefield was a popular (if quirky) player, he was even more beloved for his impact off the field. He was extremely active in the Boston community and spent a lot of time working with local children. He was nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award a stunning eight times throughout his career, winning it in 2010.
Since retiring, Wakefield has remained present in the lives of Red Sox fans as a pregame and postgame studio analyst on NESN, where his warmth and kindness have always shined through.
Wakefield was a great player, but he’s always been a better human, so it really sucks that this is happening to him. He definitely doesn’t deserve it, but if anyone can beat cancer, it’s him. You have to be incredibly resilient to pitch for 19 years in the big leagues and last until you’re 45, especially in a place as unforgiving as Boston.
Wake has given a lot to this city and its fan base, and now it’s our turn to support him.
UPDATE – September 28, 10:38 a.m.:
It turns out that Curt Schilling was not supposed to reveal this news, at least according to Catherine Varitek (wife of Red Sox legend Jason Varitek). If true, that’s a seriously low move from Schilling. Boston fans would have much preferred to find out in a way that was in line with the wishes of Wake, his family and friends, but we’re in his corner and are holding Tim in our thoughts all the same.