These comments via the Red Sox:
Jason Varitek: “There is so much to say about Wake. He has been a part of so many things and he’s meant so much to the game, the organization, the community, and personally as a friend and teammate for 14 years. He is a consummate professional with a one-of-a-kind talent that allowed this team flexibility, dependability, and endurance for 17 years. His competitiveness will be missed but his legacy and friendship will last a lifetime. It’s sad to see it end but this will be an exciting new chapter for him in his life.”
Doug Mirabelli: “Wakey has been a wonderful teammate and friend, and a great representative of his family and the Red Sox. When you think about the Red Sox you can‟t help but think of Wakey. What a tremendous success. He’ll now have a chance to look back and see what he’s accomplished from his days at Florida Tech to
pitching 19 years in the Major Leagues.
Nomar Garciaparra: “It’s truly been an honor to play with him for so many years. Every game he gave it his all, supported his teammates, and his professionalism was second to none. For me to play with him was an honor, but it’s even a better honor to know him as a friend.”
Curt Schilling: “A consummate professional, I‟m very proud to call Tim Wakefield a former teammate and more importantly a friend. Anyone that wonders how far they can go in life only needs to look at what Tim overcame and accomplished in his long and storied career. I can honestly say I have all my fingers, toes and teeth today, because I never had to catch his knuckleball. Tim proved time and again that class and perseverance do matter, and Shonda and I wish him much health and happiness after baseball.”
Mike Stanley: “You always hear the term ‘professional hitter,’ but you don‟t hear that about pitchers. For me, ‘professional pitcher’ is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about Tim and his career. He started, was a spot starter, worked out of the bullpen and even closed for us for a short time when I was with Boston. A consummate team player, he always put his nose to grindstone for the betterment of the team and did what he was asked. That to me is what Tim Wakefield is all about. Selfishly, I‟m excited because I’ve got my fishing partner and golfing buddy back.”
Terry Francona: “I think Wake’s career can be embodied by Game 3 against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. With the team down, he came to me in the fourth inning and asked what he could do. He pitched more than three innings that game, sacrificing his start the next day for the good of the team. A lot of what he did went under the radar. I wish him congratulations on a wonderful career and hope his second career is as good as his first.”
Jim Leyland: “Tim had a long and tremendous career. I’m proud to have been his first manager and I’ve enjoyed watching his success over the years. I wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.
Phi Niekro: “We have been friends from the first day we met. I don‟t know where the Red Sox would have been without him.”
Boston Mayor Tom Menino: “It has been a pleasure to watch Tim Wakefield play baseball in Boston for the last 17 years. There is something to be said for longevity in a profession – and Wake is one of the few people in this town who managed to keep the same job almost as long as I have! He has been not only a legendary pitcher and teammate on the mound, but in the community as well. I thank him for everything he has done for Boston and wish him well in the future. We are going to miss this class act.
Mike Andrews, Dana-Farber Trustee and former chairman of the Jimmy Fund: “To me, Tim is everything a professional athlete should be. He handled himself in such a professional way as far as his baseball career goes and he has done what I would hope and what most people would hope professional athletes would do off the field in his charitable endeavors. What he did for the Jimmy Fund is second to none. He is beloved by so many kids and adults alike at the jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It’s awesome what he did for the kids. I know he will be successful in whatever he chooses to do going forward.”