Seattle Mariners pitcher George Kirby made the perfect tribute to the late Tim Wakefield on Sunday.
George Kirby threw a 72 mph knuckleball – Wakefield's trademark pitch – in the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers. Texas shortstop Corey Seager swung at the ball for strike one. Kirby eventually struck him out
George Kirby had long wanted to unleash a knuckleball from his pitching arsenal. When the stadium announcer mentioned Tim Wakefield's death, he picked the perfect opportunity, per MLB.com's Daniel Kramer.
On the day Tim Wakefield passed away, George Kirby broke out a knuckleball. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/RWcbtC8bDl
— MLB (@MLB) October 2, 2023
Kirby grew up a New York Yankees fan and watched Tim Wakefield strut his wares on the mound against his favorite team. George Kirby discussed his tribute after the Mariners' 1-0 win over the Rangers on Sunday.
“I loved watching that guy throw, even though he's a Red Sox player and I'm a born Yankee fan. But yeah, it was a great day to throw it and I'm glad Seager missed it and didn't take it deep. So, yeah that was fun,” George Kirby said.
Tim Wakefield was 57 years old when he passed away on Sunday. His former Red Sox teammate Curt Schilling recently revealed he was battling brain cancer prior to his death. Schilling divulged the information without the consent of Wakefield and his family. Consequently, he started a serious backlash on social media.
Tributes poured in from the MLB community following Tim Wakefield's shocking death on Sunday. One of them was another Red Sox teammate and former AL Cy Young winner Pedro Martinez. The two men helped Boston end its 86-year title drought and win the 2004 World Series.
Tim Wakefield will go down in history as one of the best knuckleballers in MLB history along with Phil Niekro, Ted Lyons, and Eddie Cicotte.
Thank you, Tim Wakefield.