The Boston Red Sox organization and all of its fans lost a beloved member of its family on Sunday morning with the passing of Tim Wakefield.

Red Sox game planning coordinator and catching coach Jason Varitek was teammates with Wakefield, from 1997 to 2011, capturing two World Series titles together in 2004 and 2007.

Varitek was asked on NESN’s postgame coverage what kind of teammate and friend Wakefield was to him.

“I don’t know if I need to say anything. I think I’m showing it,” Varitek said through tears. “I’ve always said it, Wake exemplifies what this uniform is. And it’s not just in the name on the back — it’s the name on the front.

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“It’s what he’s done in the community. Ways he’s represented it. Ways he’s respected the game, which goes on to the whole league of being a precious part of what we do is respect for the game and for your place. He exemplifies what it means to be a Red Sox and what it means to be a professional.”

Varitek played his entire 14-year career for the Red Sox winning the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in 2005. Following his retirement in 2011, he joined the executive staff in Boston as the special assistant to then-general manager Ben Cherington. He remained working in the front office before taking on a uniformed coaching role under manager Alex Cora in 2020.

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Varitek was one of several of Wakefield’s former teammates and opponents who paid tribute to their friend either on a broadcast or via social media. Cora said the current Red Sox players paid tribute to Wakefield by the way they played their final game of the season.

After wrapping up his 19-year playing career, 17 with Boston, Wakefield joined NESN as a Red Sox analyst in 2012.

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Featured image via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images