Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Seniors throwing their caps in the air after their graduation! Credits: Joshua Ross
Class of 2024 Graduation!
Katie Whitlock, Staff Writer • June 3, 2024

Tim Wakefield Dies at 57

Photo taken after Wakefield’s 200th and final career win in September 2011. (Photo Credit: Yoon S. Byun)

On October 1, 2023, Tim Wakefield, one of Major League Baseball’s most esteemed and idolized pitchers, died of a severe form of brain cancer. His prominence in the sport of baseball, not only as an adept pitcher but as a player with boundless sportsmanship and philanthropic generosity left an immutable legacy for future generations of athletes. 

While Tim Wakefield played for the Red Sox he resided in Hingham, Massachusetts. He spent the baseball season living at Black Rock Country Club and his offseasons in Melbourne, Florida where he grew up. While living in Hingham, Wakefield could be seen at local shops and venues throughout the town. The people of Hingham were exceptionally lucky to have him as part of their community. 

Beginning in 1995, Wakefield began a 17-year tenure with the Red Sox. Through the years he mastered the knuckleball and played a crucial role in leading the Red Sox to two World Series championships in 2004 and 2007, finally breaking the curse of the Bambino in 2004 after 86 years. Mr Griffin, a Spanish teacher at Hingham High described, “As a knuckleball pitcher he was like an artist. It was unbelievable watching people try to hit his knuckleball. It was so awesome as a Red Sox fan.”

While his statistics and on field performance certainly influenced the sport of baseball, it was his endeavors off the field that made him such a remarkable individual. Wakefield was nominated for the Roberto Clemente award, an award earned by a player who best represents the sport of baseball both on and off the field, eight times and won the award in 2010. Off the field, he facilitated the progress of the Red Sox Foundation as a highly respected Chairman, primarily focusing on the Jimmy Fund which financially supports the Dana-Farber Cancer institute.

Wakefield was known for exceeding standards in all aspects of his life. While many know of his incredible stamina and nearly unhittable knuckleball, they may not be aware of his instinctive inclination to aid others which he constantly exhibited through taking the time to talk to patients and raising money for cancer research. Wakefield, among the most charitable players, also contributed to a multitude of other non-profit organizations that benefited underprivileged and sick children. 

Additionally, Wakefield influenced generations and acted as a role model in terms of his sportsmanship and positive attitude. Tenth grader Lucas Mangili said, “I personally was not alive or old enough to really watch him but I’ve heard that he was a real clubhouse guy. All of his teammates and other players loved him. He was someone who could do no wrong.” 

Wakefield radiated kindness towards everyone, his teammates, the players on the opposing team, and his fans. He truly loved the community and sport of baseball which was evident when he stepped out onto the diamond. Wakefield embodied the concept of team player, winning and losing as one. His extraordinary attitude never failed. “He was so humble and he just understood team first and he really lived that. He was so selfless, balanced, and overall just a good human being,” said Mr. Griffin. 

As such a well rounded player and individual, Wakefield’s legacy extends immeasurably beyond the realm of baseball and sports. He touched the lives of so many people through his generosity and kind soul. As Mr. Griffin expressed, Wakefield was the “personification of humility” and the “embodiment of integrity” both on and off the field. His mark on the world is ineradicable as the difference between him and most other famous athletes is that one could never guess he was a star baseball pitcher without knowing of him. Everything he contributed to the world was genuine and everyone loved and respected him due to his, as mentioned by Mr. Griffin, “every man” type persona which distinguished him as such a memorable baseball player and human being.

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    Jackie McDonaldOct 12, 2023 at 10:58 pm

    My amazing cousin wrote this article you should def read it!! Love you Ella Cigs great job queen!