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Beloved knuckleballer Tim Wakefield dies at 57, Red Sox teammates pay tribute: 'Our hearts are broken'
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Beloved knuckleballer Tim Wakefield dies at 57, Red Sox teammates pay tribute: 'Our hearts are broken'

The baseball world mourned the unexpected death of former Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Tim Wakefield. The noteworthy knuckleballer died on Sunday morning at age 57, according to multiple reports.

The MLB reported that Wakefield died from brain cancer.

Wakefield is survived by his wife, Stacy, and their children, Trevor and Brianna.

Stacy Wakefield is battling pancreatic cancer, according to Tim's former teammate Curt Schilling.

"This is not a message that Tim has asked anyone to share, and I don’t even know if he wants it shared, but as a Christian, and as a man of faith, I have seen prayer work, so I am going to talk about it," Schilling said on his podcast on Wednesday. "Tim’s wife Stacy, who is one of the nicest women you’ll ever meet, is very sick with pancreatic cancer. Recently, Tim was diagnosed with a very serious, a very aggressive form of brain cancer."

Tributes poured in for the beloved pitcher as former teammates reacted to Wakefield's sudden death.

The Boston Red Sox: "Our hearts are broken with the loss of Tim Wakefield. Wake embodied true goodness; a devoted husband, father, and teammate, beloved broadcaster, and the ultimate community leader. He gave so much to the game and all of Red Sox Nation."

Hall of Famer David Ortiz: "I can’t describe what you mean to me and my family, my heart is broken right now because l will never be able to replace a brother and a friend like you."

Legendary pitcher Roger Clemens: "Well…this is heartbreaking news. A great person, great teammate, and great golfing companion for many of our playing years. I told him many times playing along side [sic] of him what a great competitor he is. Hugs to his family and extended family. Miss you pal."

Former Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis: "He was a great competitor. When he took that mound, he was just a great teammate. And just a great friend. And I had the luxury to play with him on the field [and] on the booth. [I’m] just glad that I had the opportunity over the years to be alongside him."

Boston sportswriter Bob Ryan: "I am sadder than sad. Tim Wakefield has died due to a brain tumor at age. 57. He was real. He was CLASS. This is truly horrible news."

Red Sox owner John Henry: "Tim’s kindness and indomitable spirit were as legendary as his knuckleball. He not only captivated us on the field but was the rare athlete whose legacy extended beyond the record books to the countless lives he touched with his warmth and genuine spirit. He had a remarkable ability to uplift, inspire, and connect with others in a way that showed us the true definition of greatness. He embodied the very best of what it means to be a member of the Boston Red Sox and his loss is felt deeply by all of us."

The MLB: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Tim Wakefield, 19-year Major Leaguer, two-time World Series champion, 2009 AL All-Star, and the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award winner. Tim embodied the finest qualities as a teammate, a competitor, and a caring man. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wakefield family and all who knew and loved Tim."

Wakefield played 19 seasons in the MLB – playing his first two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the rest with the Red Sox. Wakefield announced his retirement in 2012, leaving the game with 200 wins under his belt. Wakefield helped the Red Sox win two World Series championships – in 2004 and 2007. He owns the Red Sox record for innings pitched (3,006) and most starts (430). Wakefield is regarded as one of the best knuckleball pitchers of all time.

Wakefield was the recipient of the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award recognizing "extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions, both on and off the field."

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