Tim Wakefield will announce his retirement at 5 PM tonight in Fort Myers. The announcement will be broadcast live at redsox.com.
Wakefield pitched for 19 seasons, 17 of which came with the Red Sox. He finished his Boston career with 186 wins, 3rd on the team's all-time list, and was a part of two World Series championship teams. Only three men played longer for the Red Sox: Carl Yastrzemski (23 seasons), Ted Williams (19), and Dwight Evans (19).
I really wish he had been able to get to 193 Red Sox wins, but he still had one hell of a career. One of the 25.
This has been the hardest thing I ever had to do, so it's with a heavy heart that I stand here today to say that I've decided to retire from the game of baseball. Ever since I was a little boy, all I ever wanted to do was play baseball. Even at an early age, after I learned cursive, I would always practice my autograph in hopes that I would become a big leaguer. Those hopes became a reality and I've been lucky to be able to live out my dream for the past 18 years. ...Alex Speier, WEEI:
I remember in '95, the first time I stepped out of that dugout and saw the Green Monster the first time, I knew I was in the place I belonged. To be able to share the same field with the greats before me as well as the ones I played with is truly amazing. There have been many ups and downs along the way, but one thing is for sure. Every time I stepped on the field, I gave everything I had. All I ever wanted to do was win. And the bigger goal was to win a World Series for this great city. Finally, after 86 years, we were able to do that. ...
When it came down to it, I had to take a hard look at what I thought was best for me, my family, and the Red Sox. There is nothing that I want more than for this team to win, and it's hard sometimes to take yourself out of the process. But in my heart, I feel that by retiring, I'm giving them a better chance to do that. ...
I've been wrestling with this decision for a long time, this whole offseason. ... I never wanted to pitch for another team. I always said that I wanted to retire as a Red Sox and today I'm able to do that.
According to Barry Mesiter, the agent for Tim Wakefield, the knuckleballer turned down four contract offers for this coming season -- including one guaranteed major league offer -- in order to either return for or retire as a Red Sox.
Wakefield finished his Red Sox career #1 in innings pitched (3,006), games started (430), and batters faced (12,971), #2 in strikeouts (2,046) and appearances (590), and #3 in wins (186).
His longevity also means he was #1 in losses (168), home runs allowed (401), walks (1,095), hits (2,931), earned runs (1,480), wild pitches (125), and hit batsmen (176).
His 38 home runs allowed in 1998 is a Red Sox single-season record. He threw 15 wild pitches last season, good for 4th-best on the team's all-time list.