Wakefield joins Red Sox in instructor role
Nineteen-year big league veteran will serve as honorary chair of club's foundation
BOSTON -- Tim Wakefield worked with young knuckleballer Stephen Wright for six straight days in Fort Myers, Fla., this spring, trying to share the knowledge he gained over a 19-year Major League career.
He'll keep sharing that knowledge with young Red Sox hopefuls on a full-time capacity, as the Sox announced Friday that Wakefield would be joining them as a special assignment instructor.
"I taught five college quarterbacks how to throw a knuckleball on MLB Network," Wakefield joked. "I think a lot of it can be taught. One of the benefits I had when I was younger was having the access to Charlie Hough, Phil Niekro, Joe Niekro -- all the guys that walked in these shoes before me. I thought it was very valuable to my success and my career.
"It's just nice to have somebody. I can be that person for the younger generation of knuckleballers that we have in the organization."
Wakefield, who spent 17 years with the Red Sox, winning his 200th career game in 2011 before retiring the following February, will also be the honorary chairman of the Red Sox Foundation.
"His involvement will be in board meetings and planning, as well as fundraising activities and promotional events to help the foundation achieve greater heights than it's already achieved in its first 10 years of existence," said Red Sox president and chief executive officer Larry Lucchino.
Wakefield, who said he wanted to take some time following his retirement to simply relax and enjoy time with his family, always figured he would eventually get back involved with the Red Sox.
He thinks he'll be able to assist with more than just fellow knuckleballers.
"Being an extra set of eyes for [pitching coach Juan Nieves] downstairs or Rich Sauveur down in Triple-A ... I might be able to see something mechanically or help out another pitcher mentally," Wakefield said. "Just another sounding board for them. Not only working with Stephen [Wright] and Charlie Haeger as knuckleballers, but some others as well."