R.I.P. Wake

This loss is heartbreaking. And unexpected. He was only 57 years old. Tim Wakefield was “Wake”, that’s what everyone called him. I saw him pitch a couple of times, which was a thrill. His face had this sadness to it – sad eyes – the world on his shoulders – and while this might have been a projection (was a projection), this is what we do to people in the public eye, who matter to us. They’re personal. They are in our lives. This is a very sad day. My friend David did a commercial with Tim Wakefield – and to those of us who KNEW, this was the coolest gig ever, even cooler than a hot little indie film or, hell, an Oscar-hopeful film. He was catcher to Tim Wakefield’s pitcher – wild! – and at one point, Wakefield had to throw the ball and it had to hit David in the head, and David would topple over. Of course, they used a soft ball, much bigger than an actual baseball – and, of course, Wake would hit David in exactly the right spot every single take. Why is this so charming to me? And impressive. And he and David are in the same shot, so you can clearly tell it’s actually happening. I’ve been looking for the commercial to share it, although so far it’s a no-show. If David has a copy, and it’s share-able, I’ll add it here.

I’m so grateful I got to see him in action, his no-nonsense pitching style a fingerprint, distinctly and recognizably his, as all pitchers have. It’s obvious: it’s him. Tim Wakefield threw like it was no big deal – no bells and whistles in his style, no Bronson Arroyo Rockette-kick, nothing fancy – until you looked at the movement of his throwing arm. That thing was a BEAST.

Love you, Wake.

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4 Responses to R.I.P. Wake

  1. mutecypher says:

    Terrible news. Condolences to his family and fans. Knuckleballers are all special, he was kind and special.

    • sheila says:

      That knuckleball was practically unhittable. he made hitters look silly! and you know they hated that. in a comment on the Red Sox’s Instagram post about Wake’s passing, a Yankees fan wrote “Man, I hated it when you pitched against us.” which for some reason brought me to tears – it’s the best tribute to him if you think about it.

  2. I started writing about him today and I realized suddenly that I had more to say about him than I realized: https://forgottenstars.net/wake/

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