I’d like to take a moment to pause from the politics and acknowledge the end of what I think can be fairly called a great career with the Red Sox. As you’ve probably heard, Tim Wakefield will announce his retirement today after 17 seasons with the Sox. Chad Finn has a very good retrospective over at the Boston Globe.
From his first year with the team in 1995 when he went 16-8 with a 2.95 ERA, to playing a subtle but important role in helping the Sox win their first World Series in 86 years, to today’s announcement ending a generation-long career almost all (save his first couple seasons) with the same team, Wakefield was the paragon of a class act. Wake might not have had a Hall of Fame-caliber career, but there are few Red Sox that will leave such a positive impression on so many Sox fans. As his teammates came and went (from Mike Greenwell to Nomar to Mo to Youk to Adrian Gonzalez), Wake had his ups (his 200 career wins, including several shutouts and near no-hitters) and downs (Aaron Boone) on the field, but throughout everything he remained a consummate professional and a true Red Sock.
Thanks, Wake, for a tremendous Red Sox career!