BOSTON - Since 2002, the B.A.A. and the City of Boston have presented the Patriots’ Award at the official opening ceremony kicking off Boston Marathon weekend: “Cheers to the Boston Marathon.” On Thursday evening at The Hampshire House, recently retired Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield will receive the 2012 honor.
Awarded to a New England-based individual, group, or organization that is patriotic, philanthropic, inspirational, and fosters goodwill and sportsmanship, the Patriots’ Award further unifies the Boston Marathon with Patriots’ Day, the holiday on which the race has been held since 1897.
Wakefield is not able to be present to receive the honor, so accepting on Wakefield’s behalf will be Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. Later in the baseball season, the BAA will present Tim Wakefield with the 2012 Patriots Award prior to a Red Sox home game.
Among his work in the community, Wakefield has been active with the nonprofit "Pitching in for Kids," which provides grants to improve the lives of children across the New England region and encourages kids to participate in special events to learn important life skills and the spirit of helping others in a community.
Wakefield has received numerous other honors for his community involvement over the years including having been the recipient of Major League Baseball’s 2010 Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to the major league player who gives back through community service and also excels on the field. Wakefield was the Red Sox recipient eight times for his local, community good works. He has been a frequent participant at Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute fundraising events, and supporter of the Franciscan Hospital for Children through The “Wakefield Warriors” program, through which he provided tickets and met patients and their families before Red Sox home games. Tim is also a strong supporter of The Red Sox Foundation and MGH Home Base Program for wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Tim met frequently with wounded warriors and appears in ads informing veterans and their families about the confidential Home Base Program.
He started pitching in the major leagues in 1992 (Pittsburgh), and began pitching for the Red Sox in 1995 where he was part of two World Series teams (2004, 2007). He retired this spring after 17 years with the Red Sox, after having where he compiled a career record of 200 wins, 180 losses. Tim is 3rd in Red Sox history for victories (186), trailing only Cy Young and Roger Clemens. He also pitched the most innings (3,006) and made the most starts in team history (430). Known as a rare knuckleball pitcher, Wakefield is recognized as a player who was respected by fans and community members alike for his positive attitude, respect for the game, sportsmanship and his philanthropy.
The recipients of the award have been Robert and Myra Kraft and the New England Patriots (2002); Red Auerbach and the Red Auerbach Youth Foundation (2003); Ron Burton and the Ron Burton Training Village (2004); the Boston Red Sox Foundation (2005); Rick and Dick Hoyt (2006); Joan Benoit Samuelson (2007); Mike Andrews and the Jimmy Fund (2008); longtime Boston bartenders and philanthropists Eddie Doyle and Tommy Leonard (2009); lifetime New England Patriot and three-time Super Bowl Champion Tedy Bruschi (2010); and Carol Fulp President & CEO The Partnership, Inc. (2011).
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