Tim Wakefield announced his retirement on Friday in an emotion-filled press conference in Fort Myers where the Red Sox are set to begin spring training.
"This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do," Wakefield said. "So, it's with a heavy heart that I stand here today and I'm saddened to say that I have decided to retire from this wonderful game of baseball. For the past 17 years, all I've ever wanted to do is what was best for the team and the organization. Whether it was starting, closing or whatever I was asked to do, I always had my spikes on and was ready to go."
Wakefield said that the decision was not an easy one, but he felt it was time to step away and also spend more time with his family. He added that Boston will remain his home and he'll be active with the community and various charitable organizations.
"I've been wrestling with this decision for a long time, this whole offseason," Wakefield said. "The final deciding point was when [wife] Stacy and I sat my two kids down and asked them what they wanted me to do. I never wanted to regret missing any part of their lives and I just think the time is now."
Wakefield spent 17 seasons with the Red Sox and was part of two World Series' winning teams. He won 200 games over his 19 years in the big leagues and 186 with the Sox, ranking third on the team's all-time wins' list behind Roger Clemens and Cy Young (192).
"I never wanted to pitch for another team," Wakefield said. "I always said that I wanted to retire as a Red Sox and today I'm able to do that."
For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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