Tim Wakefield never lived in Hopkinton, but his presence was felt here every spring.
The Red Sox legend, who passed away Sunday at the age of 57 after a battle with brain cancer, appeared at the Sharon Timlin Memorial Road Race at Hopkinton High School every June except this one. He skipped the 2023 event to support his wife, who also has been battling cancer.
“He was such a good, good person,” recalled former longtime race director Abbie Rosenberg. “I know everyone says good things about someone when they die, but he really was a rock and a huge philanthropist. He showed up every year for the race no matter what.
“He was very much a friend of Hopkinton in terms of supporting our race and ALS research. He loved coming to Hopkinton.”
Not only did Wakefield attend the event annually, he patiently signed autographs, posed for photos and even one time offered a round of golf with him for the event’s charity auction.
“He was so generous, such a great, great guy,” Rosenberg said. “He went out of his way to be here, both for his friend [former teammate Mike Timlin] and to support ALS research. He came to know the whole race committee. He was so kind, always smiling and laughing. It’s just so hard to fathom that he’s gone, that life is this unfair.”
Rosenberg said she expects the race will find a way to honor Wakefield in some way next year.
“He’ll be missed greatly, and he’ll certainly be remembered,” she said.