What Jason Varitek means to me.
Today is the end of an era. Jason Varitek, our Captain, announced his retirement from the game of baseball, but more importantly the Boston Red Sox.
15 seasons of grinding, of playing the game the right way. This man sacrificed himself and was always ready. He was a leader and he was a true baseball player in every sense of the word. Curt Schilling described him as the most prepared player he’d ever met. A fantastic switch hitting catcher who was a gold glove and silver slugging three time all star who led our team to two world series championships. But you wont hear him say that, because for him it was always about the team.
Tek wore the C because he was the embodiment of Red Sox Nation. He played the game right and he showed that on the field, in press conferences, or in talks with fans. Personally, and I’m sure many will say this, it really puts a heavy weight on my heart to see him walk away from the game. Jason Varitek is literally all I’ve known about the Boston Red Sox in my life. I was six when he was called up. He has been what I know as the Sox for as long as I can remember. When I met him in Tampa a few years back before a game it was all I talked about for weeks. I decided at a young age that my favorite number is 33 because Tek wore it.
The landscape of Red Sox baseball will forever stay the same; all about pride, respect, and playing the game correctly. But day in and day out with every game and every line-up that is posted it will be hard to not see his name on the card. I’ll miss his clutch hits and his leadership. I’ll miss it all.
At the end of the day there will always come a time when we see our favorite players walk away from the game, it is the natural progression of the beast, but this one hurts. I couldn’t help but shed some tears as I saw all of the teammates that showed up to support him, all of the shared hugs. That is what Jason Varitek means to this ball club.
Thank you, Tek, for everything. I can’t think of another way to put it. O Captain, My Captain.