Wakefield joins exclusive club started by Hall of Famer Satchel Paige
By Freddy Berowski
Satchel Paige called it the realization of the last of his three great dreams – to play in the major leagues, to pitch in the World Series and to be selected to the league’s All-Star Game.
For Paige, that first All-Star selection came in 1952, just days before his 46th birthday. He made his big league debut and pitched in the World Series in 1948 – just a few of many highlights that resulted in Paige being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971.
This year, the dream of making the league’s All-Star team happened for Red Sox hurler Tim Wakefield. The 17-year-veteran was selected for his first All-Star team just days ago by manager American League skipper Joe Maddon.
The 42 year-old Wakefield earned his selection by compiling a 10-3 mark in the first half for the Boston Red Sox. While his ERA, WHIP and strikeout totals may not match up to those of some of his fellow All-Stars, Maddon explained Wakefield’s selection, stating: “Wakefield is having a good year, obviously, pitches in Boston and he’s had a tremendous body of work throughout his entire career… I just felt that getting him on a team was the right thing to do.”
Wakefield is only the third player in major league history to make his All-Star debut in his 40s. He follows two other pitchers: Paige in 1952 and Jamie Moyer in 2003 – who both earned their first All-Star berths at age 40.
Freddy Berowski is a library associate at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.