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Former Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield dies at 57

Tim Wakefield, a two-time World Series champion who was known for his use of the knuckleball, died on Sunday following his bout with brain cancer. He was 57.

Wakefield spent 17 of his 19 major league seasons with Boston. He was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2016.

“Tim’s kindness and indomitable spirit were as legendary as his knuckleball,” Red Sox owner John Henry said in a statement. “He not only captivated us on the field but was the rare athlete whose legacy extended beyond the record books to the countless lives he touched with his warmth and genuine spirit. He had a remarkable ability to uplift, inspire, and connect with others in a way that showed us the true definition of greatness. He embodied the very best of what it means to be a member of the Boston Red Sox and his loss is felt deeply by all of us.”

Wakefield was selected to the All-Star Game in 2009 and won the Roberto Clemente Award in 2010 for combining good play with strong work in the community.

“It’s one thing to be an outstanding athlete; it’s another to be an extraordinary human being. Tim was both,” Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said. “He was a role model on and off the field, giving endlessly to the Red Sox Foundation and being a force for good for everyone he encountered. I felt fortunate to call him a close friend and along with all of us in Red Sox Nation, I know the world was made better because he was in it.”

Wakefield posted a 14-12 record with a 4.17 ERA in his first two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1992-93) before climbing to third in career wins in Red Sox franchise history. The right-hander had a record of 186-168 with a 4.43 ERA in 590 games (430 starts) with Boston. He is second in Red Sox history in innings pitched (3,006), second in strikeouts (2,046) and third in games pitched (590).

The native of Melbourne, Fla., won the World Series with the 2004 and 2007 Boston teams.

“Our hearts are broken with the loss of Tim Wakefield,” the Red Sox wrote on Twitter.

“Wake embodied true goodness; a devoted husband, father, and teammate, beloved broadcaster, and the ultimate community leader. He gave so much to the game and all of Red Sox Nation.

“Our deepest love and thoughts are with Stacy, Trevor, Brianna, and the Wakefield family.”

–Field Level Media

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