TORONTO — Newspaper deadlines are such that you need to send a first-edition story in just as the game ends. So with the Red Sox leading the Blue Jays last night, I jotted down a few facts about Tim Wakefield.
They never made the paper. But here you go:
When he won his first game, in 1992, there were 26 teams in baseball. The Rockies, Marlins, Rays and Diamondbacks weren’t around.
Wakefield once threw 172 pitches in a game. It was on April 27, 1993 against Atlanta. He allowed two runs in 10 innings despite walking 10, hitting two and striking out just one. The Pirates won the game 6-2 and he got the win.
Jim Leyland, the manager who allowed those 172 pitches, is with the Tigers these days. Imagine if he tried that again?
Wakefield played with Doug Drabek in Pittsburgh. Kyle Drabek, Doug’s son, was called up by the Blue Jays on Wednesday.
Wakefield got his first win at Three Rivers Stadium. It was imploded in 2001.
Wakefield has a career ERA of 4.40, which would be the highest of any pitcher to win 200 games.
For his sake, I hope Wakefield wins his 200th game. But regardless, the man has had a unique career and then some. Before you go check your e-mail — something else that didn’t really exist in 1992 — give that some consideration.