Tim Wakefield’s daughter throws out first pitch at emotional Red Sox home opener

There might not have been a dry eye in the house on Tuesday afternoon at Fenway Park. 

In a poignant and heartwarming ceremony, the Red Sox honored beloved knuckleballer Tim Wakefield and his wife, Stacy, both of whom died of cancer in recent months, along with the 2004 World Series champion Red Sox team prior to the home opener in Boston. 

The ceremony culminated in Wakefield’s daughter, Brianna, throwing out the first pitch to Wakefield’s former teammate and current Red Sox coach, Jason Varitek. 

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. Getty Images
Brianna Wakefield throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the Red Sox home opener. NESN

The crowd roared as Brianna stepped to the base of the mound and again when the ball made it to Varitek as Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be in My Heart” played over the Fenway Park PA system. 

Brianna and Varitek embraced in a long hug between home plate and the mound, with the current Red Sox squad looking and applauding on from the first base line. 

Red Sox legend Johnny Damon then handed Brianna and her brother Trevor the 2004 World Series trophy, and the Wakefield siblings raised it above their heads, eliciting another cheer from the crowd. 

Wakefield had died in October at 57 after being diagnosed with brain cancer, and Stacy, 53, passed away in February after a battle with pancreatic cancer. 

The Red Sox have placed a commemorative patch on their jerseys for this season with Wakefield’s No. 49 at the center of a heart.

A heart-shaped pin with Wakefield’s number was given out to fans at the game on Tuesday. 

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. AP
Brianna Wakefield shares a hug with Jason Varitek after her first pitch. NESN

Wakefield was a fan-favorite during his 19-year career, which included 17 with Boston, helping the city end its baseball championship drought as part of World Series-winning teams in 2004 and 2007. 

The Wakefield family ingrained itself in the Boston community with charitable efforts, including the Jimmy Fund, which is a fundraising program for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. 

In a post on Instagram, the Jimmy Fund wrote that the start of the Red Sox season is “not the same” without Wakefield. 

During a pre game ceremonyy honoring the knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield, flanked by his wife Stacy and his family, wipes a tear from his eye at Fenway Park on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. MediaNews Group via Getty Images

“We are forever grateful for all that Tim and his wife Stacy did for the Jimmy Fund,” they wrote. “His efforts to strike out cancer as a baseball player, [NESN] broadcaster, and friend of the Jimmy Fund helped lead to remarkable progress in the treatment of cancer for children and adults.

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