Tim Wakefield set to pass Catfish
Posted by athomeatfenway on July 9, 2009
Tim Wakefield passed Whitey Ford on the All Time Strikeout List this month. He is 19 K’s behind Red Ruffing, 31 K’s behind Billy Pierce, and 44 K’s below Catfish Hunter.
He is #70 on the list.
Wake will pass Catfish later this season. Of course, Hunter was 33 when he pitched his last, and Wakefield is almost 43. Saying Hunter and Wake are highly accomplished is a bit like saying that Kate Beckinsale and Madonna are good looking. It’s true, though with polarizing differences.
Still, climbing the list into the company of HOF’ers garners respect.
Imagine baby-faced Justin Masterson or Daniel Bard sharing the same clubhouse with the old goat. These are two 24-year-olds who, if they eat their veggies, may someday each record half as many K’s as Wakefield. They are shaving and tossing spades near the lumpy, middle aged guy with a small beer belly – a man who may ultimately climb high on the all time K list.
Watching Wake defeat Oakland to go 11-3, my wife remarked how Tim just doesn’t look like the other Sox. He has a belly. He has poor posture. “Why doesn’t he work out like the other players ?”, she puzzled.
His physique adds as much to his mystique as his 68 MPH knuckler.
He is everyman. He is the love object of the middle aged fan. He is…..old and has a tummy.
But picture this: On August 2, 2013, old man Wakefield climbs the mound on his 47th birthday and records career strikeout 2,396. In doing so, he moved past Sandy Koufax. In the rear view mirror will be Lefty Grove (2,266), Tommy John (2,245), Jim Palmer (2,212), Juan Marichal (2,303), Robin Roberts (2,357), Luis Tiant (2,416), Dennis Eckersley (2,401), Charlie Hough (2,362) & many others.
He’ll be #38 on the list.
It may just happen. He’s a knuckler. Hoyt Wilhelm pitched until he was 49, Phil Niekro until he was 48 and Charlie Hough until he was 46.
Who’d have thought a guy that typically blows up 5 times a year with a 15.00 GAME ERA could climb so high ?
And don’t rule out Wakefield eventually passing Drysdale (2,488), Christy Mathewson (2,562), Bob Feller (2,581) and Warren Spahn (2,583).
It is all within his reach.
If Wake passes the immortal Mathewson, the Sox might bid out a statue to place on Van Ness Street, down the block from Ted’s.
Not bad for a guy who walked 28 batters in three starts for the Bucs in 1993.
(To review the all time K list, see the link on our home page under the “Historical Ball” category.)
I hope someone has told Dennis Eckersley not to speak aloud about a no-no in progress while on the air. It is it jarring to the ear and disruptive to the soul. He has no right to break tradition while 10 Million Sox fans are squeezing their sphincters, silently frozen in their lazy boys trying not to jinx the pitcher. It’s an egregious mistake. Otherwise, Eck is a breath of fresh air substituting on NESN for Remy, bringing the gas, the cheese, and kudo’s for his yakker.
Is anyone serious about the Sox acquiring Roy Halladay ? He’ll command premium young talent. We’re not going to ship off Lars Anderson and Clay Buchholz to get him. Shoot, we could have gotten Johan Santana for those guys and we passed. Theo is committed to maintaining our depth.
Youk looks tired. Dustin looks tired. These guys are making me tired.
The BoSox lack of timely hitting again reared its head as we lost 3 of 4 at home to begin the current home stand. The offense comes and goes. And yet, they string together winning months. They are on pace to win 98 games, their most since 2004, when they went 98 – 64. You have to score runs, but it really is 80% about the pitching — isn’t it ?