With Tim Wakefield's 2000th Strikeout, A Look Back at his First

Tim Wakefield notched his 2000th strikeout for the Red Sox this weekend, further cementing the knuckle-baller as one of the club’s all-time stalwarts. It sort of blows your mind to think that this is Wakefield’s 17th season with the Sox. So what about his first strikeout? It came on May 27, 1995, in Anaheim, not long after the Sox had picked him up off the scrap heap when Pittsburgh cut him.

The Sox’ starting line-up that day vs. the California (yes, California) Angels:

Troy O’Leary RF

John Valentin SS

Mo Vaughn 1B

Mike McFarlane C

Mike Greenwell LF

Tim Naehring 3B

Reggie Jefferson DH

Tuffy Rhodes CF (Tuffy Rhodes!)

Luis Alicea 2B

Who knew Troy O’Leary ever hit lead-off, right? Wakefield went 7 innings that day, giving up one run and K’ing four in the 12-1 Boston win. Strikeout No. 1 came in the first inning against the Angels’ Jim Edmonds. The at-bat, of course, included a passed-ball.

“I’m mentally and physically exhausted,” catcher Mike Macfarlane told the Globe after the game. “I feel like I just caught a doubleheader. I never realized how hard it was to catch that thing.”

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Marquee photograph by Waldo Jaquith/Flickr