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Tim Wakefield’s daughter throws out first pitch in Red Sox’s first home game since father’s death

The Boston Red Sox played their first home game of the season on Tuesday, but it was somber.

It was the team’s first game at Fenway Park since their former pitcher, Tim Wakefield, died of brain cancer.

The knuckleballer died on Oct. 1, the final day of the 2023 season — less than five months later, his widow, Stacy, also died.

Brianna Wakefield

Brianna Wakefield, the daughter of Tim and Stacy Wakefield, throws out the first pitch during a ceremony honoring the 2004 Red Sox World Series team before the Red Sox play the Baltimore Orioles on opening day at Fenway Park.  (Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Prior to the game, there was a celebration to honor the upcoming 20th anniversary of the 2004 Red Sox, who famously came back to beat the New York Yankees from down 3-0 in the American League Championship Series and then swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series to break the Curse of the Bambino and win their first Fall Classic since 1918.

Wakefield, of course, was a member of that team (he served up the Game 7 walk-off home run to Aaron Boone the year prior), but his presence was felt.

The couple’s two children, Trevor and Brianna, were introduced onto the field, both donning his No. 49 jersey, and their daughter threw out the first pitch, with Jason Varitek behind the plate.

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Brianna Wakefield and Jason Varitek

Brianna Wakefield, daughter of former pitcher Tim Wakefield who passed away, reacts with former catcher Jason Varitek after throwing out a ceremonial first pitch during a pre-game ceremony in recognition of the 2004 World Series twenty year team reunion before the 2024 Opening Day game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles on April 9, 2024 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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In a tribute video to Wakefield, Terry Francona, the manager of that 2004 club, said he was “a pitcher of distinction and determination.”

“It felt like a punch in the stomach when I heard, and it still does…” Francona said. “It was an honor managing Tim Wakefield. He was a really good pitcher — he was an even better man.”

A two-time World Series champion, Tim owned a 4.43 ERA over 3,006 innings in 590 appearances for the Red Sox from 1995-2011. He made his major debut as a Pittsburgh Pirate in 1992, where he spent his first two seasons. 

Brianna and Trevor Wakefield

Brianna Grace Wakefield, left, and Trevor Wakefield hold the 2004 World Series trophy during a pre-game ceremony in honor of their father, Tim Wakefield and their family before the home opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on April 09, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Jaiden Tripi/Getty Images)

Wakefield then pitched for Boston for the next 17 seasons. No one has pitched more innings at Fenway Park than him.

The Sox fell to the Baltimore Orioles, 7-1, whom they also played the day Wakefield died.

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