After 15 big league seasons behind the plate in Boston, Red Sox catcher and team captain Jason Varitek has reached his peak as a baseball player and is ready to retire.
According to a press release by the team, the Varitek, 39, will make official retirement announcement at 5:30pm EST at the team’s spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida.
The Boston Globe reports that Tek will accept some new role within the Red Sox organization. What that will be, we still don’t know.
Varitek achieved many accomplishments during his lengthy career behind the plate, among them include catching an all-time record four no-hitters (Hideo Nomo in 2001, Derek Lowe in 2002, Clay Buchholz in 2007 and Jon Lester in 2008. ), being selected to three All-Star teams and winning two World Series.
Over the course of his career, the switch-hitting backstop went .256 with 193 homers and 757 RBI over 1,546 appearances.
In his last season as a Red Sox player (2011), Jason Varitek batted just .221 in 68 games, finishing with 11 home runs and 36 runs batted in.
Although Jason Veritek has long been lauded for his uncanny ability to handle a pitching staff and call a game, he is also remembered for his infamous brawl with Alex Rodriguez during the 2004 American League Championship Series.
Bleacher Report’s Douglas Sibor calls the incident one of the greatest moments in Veritek’s Red Sox career.
Downtrodden and seemingly cursed, the Red Sox were trailing the Yankees 3-0 on July 24, 2004, and looked as if they were headed for another tough defeat. Then, in the top of the third inning, everything changed.
Bronson Arroyo hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch. Varitek did not take kindly to A-Rod’s yelling at Arroyo, and Varitek got in A-Rod’s face as the Yankees third baseman walked to first. Varitek shoved A-Rod in the face, sparking a brawl that changed the course of Red Sox history.
This act of defiance told the world that the Red Sox were no longer afraid of the Yankees. The emotional lift this provided spurred the Sox on to win the game, come back from a 3-0 series deficit against the Yankees in the ALCS and win the World Series.
Without this moment of fearless leadership, the Red Sox might still be looking for their first championship since 1918.
Watch Jason Varitek vs. A-Rod fight in the video below: