Former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield signs autographs at the 2023 Drive Fore Kids golf tournament. Wakefield, a two-time World Series champion and winner of the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award, died last October. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

FALMOUTH — In the inaugural Drive Fore Kids celebrity golf tournament last summer, Derek Lowe and Kevin Millar played a round on the celebrity-am day with Tim Wakefield, their former teammate on the Boston Red Sox. These tournaments for causes like the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and the Dempsey Center were when Wakefield was at his best.

“It’s sad to talk about him, but an honor to talk about him. He’d want us to play. He’d want us to talk about him, so we’re here,” Lowe said after his round Saturday at Falmouth Country Club in this year’s Drive Fore Kids tournament.

Wakefield died last Oct. 1 after a brief battle with brain cancer. Last year’s Drive Fore Kids tournament was one of his final public appearances. His wife, Stacy, died Feb. 28 after her own cancer battle.

“(Wakefield) loved these events. You know what? You miss him. You miss him as a friend. Stacy, a wonderful human being. They’re sadly missed, but we’re able to keep their legacy going,” Millar said.

On a hill overlooking the pond at the 18th green, Wakefield’s No. 49 was on display, a reminder of his commitment to helping others throughout his life.

Saturday afternoon, after golfers had dried off from their rain-soaked rounds, Drive Fore Kids organizers posthumously honored Wakefield for his dedication to charity work. Millar, Lowe and Clay Buchholz accepted the Partner in Purpose Award – a Simon Pierce hand-blown glass hurricane candle holder adorned with his No. 49 – on behalf of the Wakefield family.


Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona shakes hands with Brandon Horton of Seattle before teeing off during a Drive Fore Kids practice round Thursday at Falmouth Country Club. Francona and other members of the 2004 and 2007 World Series championship teams for the Red Sox fondly extolled Tim Wakefield at this year’s tournament – the first since Wakefield’s death from cancer last fall. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Terry Francona, who managed the Red Sox from 2004 through 2011 and won World Series championships in 2004 and 2007, was on hand to take part in this year’s celebrity tournament. Francona vividly remembered what might be the defining moment of Wakefield’s 17-year career with the Red Sox. In Game 3 of the 2004 American League Championship Series, Wakefield approached Francona in the fourth inning. The Red Sox were already on their third pitcher of the game and were headed toward a third straight loss, and Wakefield volunteered to go to the bullpen and warm up before the team burned through more relievers.

“He was supposed to start Game 4. These guys, they wait their whole lives to pitch these games, and he sucked it up,” Francona said. “As a player, I don’t think people realize how good he was. He had his ups and downs, but he fought through it… Off the field, what he did made what he did on the field pale. He and Stacy, they just did anything they could for anybody.”

Wakefield pitched 3 1/3 innings that Saturday night at Fenway Park. His sacrifice helped the Red Sox preserve enough pitching to become the first team to win a playoff series after losing the first three games.

“What he did in Game 3 literally changed my career, because I was supposed to be the reliever who comes in. Wake, he’s like ‘I’ve got it,’ allows me to start Game 4,” Lowe said. “That’s who he was. It was all about the team, not me. I’ll let the next guy have an opportunity.”

Millar remembered Wakefield as a teammate who was there with a high five for even the smallest accomplishments, like a single. While many starting pitchers will be in and out of the dugout on the days they aren’t on the mound, Wakefield was there every game, Millar said.

“That’s what I think he was about, being a great teammate day in and day out,” Millar said. “He fought his you-know-what off to play many years in the big leagues. He pitched at a high level at 68 miles an hour with a knuckleball. He competed out here in golf.”


Obit-Wakefield Baseball

Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield retired after the 2011 season with 200 career wins, including 186 as a member of the Red Sox. John Bazemore/Associated Press

Wakefield retired following the 2011 season with exactly 200 wins. His 22 career saves are proof of his willingness to go to the bullpen and do whatever the team needed.

“If you’re a franchise, that’s the guy you want to go out and talk to people. He represents what the Red Sox are all about. Passion, a love for the team, will do anything for the team,” Lowe said. “I miss him, I’ll be honest with you. I miss Stacy. I miss him.”

When he took part in the Drive Fore Kids event last year, Wakefield talked about how much he enjoyed seeing Red Sox fans and talking about that 2004 team that won the franchise’s first World Series title in 86 years.

“It never gets old for us. We’re coming up on our 20th anniversary next year. It’s nice to reminisce with the guys I played with on that ’04 team. We’re still good friends,” Wakefield said.

Wakefield’s presence was definitely felt Saturday, Francona said.

“Any time we get a chance to talk about Wake is a pleasure,” he said.

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