Notable Knuckleballers

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Tim Wakefield
Text: Gabriel Baumgaertner
Photo: John W. McDonough/SI

Tim Wakefield

Initially a floundering first baseman in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, Tim Wakefield resurrected his career by developing a knuckleball. As a rookie, he went 8-1 with a 2.15 ERA for the NL East-winning Pirates in 1992 and three years later he moved to the Red Sox, where he remained for the next 17 years of his career. Though he made only one All-Star team in his 19 seasons, Wakefield was known for his consistency and his willingness to pitch out of the bullpen even though he was a reliable starter. Wakefield started at least 30 games seven different times in his career with the Red Sox and, after several tries, earned his 200th win in 2011. It proved to be the last of his career. He finished with a 200-180 record and a 4.41 ERA.


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