Jason Varitek to announce his retirement on Thursday

It's the end of an era in Boston

2/27/12 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

After 15 years and 1546 games, all with the Red Sox, catcher Jason Varitek will announce his retirement on Thursday.

Varitek was a 3-time All Star and was one of the leaders of a Red Sox team that won 2 World Series championships.

Varitek will never go into the Hall of Fame, and rightfully so, but he has become a huge part of Red Sox history over his time with the team.

Here are some of the moments that defined Jason Varitek's career, for better or worse.

1. The trade
Varitek came to the Red Sox as part of one of the best trades in team history. The Sox sent closer Heathcliff Slocumb to the Mariners for Varitek and pitcher Derek Lowe. Varitek went on to be the full-time catcher for over a decade, and Lowe was an All Star for the Sox as both a starter and a closer.

2. The punch
Need I say more?

3. Heidi Watney
One of the more interesting aspects of his career, good or bad, are the rumors of an affair with former NESN on-field reporter Heidi Watney. Can't really blame him for this one.

4. The no-hitters
Varitek caught a total of 4 no-hitters in his career (Hideo Nomo, Lowe, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester). That's a record for catchers. While it might not seem like a big deal, since pitchers get all the credit for a no-hitter, Varitek was known for his work with pitchers. He studied hitter tendencies, knew his pitchers better than anyone in baseball, and knew how to call a great game behind the plate. He wasn't the best defensive catcher, and wasn't going to hit 30 HR, but he knew how to work a pitching staff.

5. The championships
As part of the 'idiots' in 2004, Varitek will always be remembered by Red Sox fans. He was once again an integral part of the team when they won in 2007. Along with Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Kevin Millar, Brian Roberts and many others, he'll never be forgotten in Boston for his role in ending the 86-year championship drought for the Red Sox.

Not everything was sunshine and roses for Varitek, who also had his negative moments. He couldn't catch the knuckleball, but then again, who could? He also lost some of his allure as the "captain" and team leader during the collapse at the end of last year. Still that doesn't overshadow all of the great things that happened throughout his career.

Happy trails to Jason Varitek, who will undoubtedly land a coaching job somewhere soon. He's one of the greatest baseball minds of our generation, and will be an asset to whichever team he works for from here on out. Congratulations on an excellent career, and a sincere thank you from all of Red Sox Nation.
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2/29/12   |   RockySz   |   1414 respect

His personal life is none of my business. As a fan I have great respect for his game calling and handling of the pitching staff. Wish he could have thrown out a higher percentage of base stealers, although it had to have something to do with the pitchers themselves. 

Heard they've offered him a position within the organization. Good for him.

2/29/12   |   hclcdestin   |   9154 respect

THANX 4 15 Super Seasons!

2/27/12   |   DeanMcArdle   |   20 respect

Met Veritek this summer on the Cape and he was a super nice guy. It was probably about time. He had definitely been declining production wise. There is no statistic for team leadership thought. Have a feeling his name will be creeping up for manager positions soon.