Tim Wakefield played in the major leagues for a long time, nearly all of which was with the Boston Red Sox. Seventeen of his 19 MLB seasons were with Boston, spanning one of the most successful periods in franchise history from 1995-2011. The team only suffered one losing season during that time (1997), making nine playoff appearances and winning two World Series, including a very special one in 2004.
As a valued member of Boston's pitching staff, Wakefield played a huge role in the team's success during that time. He pitched more innings than anyone in franchise history and won 186 games in a Red Sox uniform -- a number surpassed only by Cy Young and Roger Clemens.
Wakefield tragically passed away from brain cancer on Sunday at age 57, leaving us much too soon. Fortunately, he gave Boston fans countless incredible memories during his time with the team, both on and off the field.
It's hard to narrow down such a great career into a small list, but here are the three best moments from Wakefield's Red Sox career.
3 Tim Wakefield Highlights From Red Sox Career
3. 2004 ALCS Game 5
Wakefield saw a lot of playoff action in his career, logging 72 postseason innings for the Sox. Many of those innings (21 1/3) came against the New York Yankees during their epic ALCS showdowns with Boston in 2003 and 2004.
Wakefield's most pivotal contribution to the '04 title came during Game 5 of the ALCS at Fenway Park, With the Red Sox trailing New York 3-1 in the series, they had to win Game 5 to stave off elimination and keep their season alive.
The game turned out to be an instant classic, stretching on for nearly six hours and 14 innings. By time, it was the longest (and probably the most tense) postseason game in MLB history at the time.
You know who got the win in that game? Tim Wakefield.
Wakefield came on in the top of the 12th with the score knotted at 4-4. Despite throwing 64 pitches and 3 1/3 innings during Game 3 two days earlier, Wakefield delivered 3 scoreless frames against an absolutely stacked Yankees lineup that included Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui and more.
That gave Boston enough time to finally mount a game-winning rally in the bottom of the 14th. The galvanized Sox sent the series back to the Bronx, and the rest is history.