Friday, February 17, 2012

Thank you, #49

Tim Wakefield, throwing his famous knuckleball: (By Waldo Jaquith on Flickr [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

As you probably know by now, Tim Wakefield will announce his retirement at a news conference tonight. I've written about Wakefield a few times here, and I'm not the one to write a full retrospective, of which I'm sure we'll get several, but I wanted to just run through some interesting facts from Wakefield's career:

  • You probably know that Wakefield was drafted as a first baseman out of the Florida Institute of Technology. He was taken in the 8th round of the 1988 draft, 200th overall. The 199th pick belonged to the Red Sox, and was used on Wakefield's future teammate Tim Naehring.Wakefield is the only player from the Florida Institute of Technology to play in the major leagues.

  • Other than Naehring, players named Tim who Wakefield played with: Tim VanEgmond, Tim Harikkala, Tim Young, and Mike Timlin.

  • Wakefield was the 200th pick in the draft, and won exactly 200 games.

  • Wakefield played exactly one year each with Barry Bonds (1992), Dennis Eckersley (1998), Rickey Henderson (2002).

  • Wakefield debuted on 7/31/1992 with a 10-strikeout complete game victory against the Cardinals (box score). His first strikeout was Luis Alicea. Wakefield made his first appearance with the Red Sox on 5/27/95 (box score). Alicea was his second baseman in that game, going 3-4 with a home run and a double, helping Wakefield to a 12-1 win.Alicea was later the first base coach on Wakefield's Red Sox.

  • Wakefield has more starts against the Tampa Bay Rays than any other pitcher, with 36. He finishes his career with a 21-8 record against Tampa, with a 3.71 ERA.

  • Wakefield retires with a 105 ERA+. Exactly the same as Jack Morris.

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