Tributes poured in from all around the MLB world, and Mariners pitcher George Kirby expressed his admiration for the late pitcher in a touching way during Seattle’s final game of the 2023 season Sunday.
Hours after Wakefield’s death was announced, Kirby debuted a knuckleball that he’d worked on at during spring training. It was fitting the Mariners ace would choose Sunday to break it out, because the knuckleball was Wakefield’s specialty.
Kirby confirmed after the game that the knuckleball was a tribute to Wakefield.
Kirby confirmed that he did it in honor of Tim Wakefield. https://t.co/vdBB5CsiAa— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 2, 2023
The 73-mph knuckleball by Kirby resulted in a strike to Rangers shortstop Corey Seager.
Mariners manager Scott Servais commented on Kirby’s knuckleball after the game, and he also found it fitting that Kirby debuted the pitch on Sunday.
“I think with the passing of Tim Wakefield today, who knows?” Servais said. “Baseball is a weird game that way. I do believe in the baseball gods, and maybe that’s why it came out today.”