Every baseball fan is appreciative of their favorite teams’ players. Particularly, of the ones who are big time players with their bat and glove, as well as, without their equipment. To determine these types of players, fans do not only focus on the players' statistical contribution to the team, but also the personal one. And, to Red Sox fans, recently retired Jason Varitek might have worn number thirty three on the back of his jersey, but was ‘numero uno’ in their hearts.
Over the last couple of years, Red Sox fans (me included) witnessed the productivity of Jason Varitek slip away little by little. In a way, we knew that the end of his baseball career was getting near, but we did not want to admit it. And I think Red Sox Management was aware of it, too, which is why they brought Victor Martinez in 2009, but unfortunately that did not work out for very long. Nevertheless, Varitek never stopped helping his teammates, or participating in as many activities as he could, as he was a great mentor to team catchers and a team leader, overall.
Professionally, “The Captain” was a switch-hitter catcher who caught four no hitters (MLB record), hit one of the four home runs in a row against the Yankees at Fenway Park in 2007 (MLB record), won two World Series (2004 and 2007), was selected to three All-Star games, received a golden glove and silver slugger award, and most outstandingly, he taught Alex Rodriguez of the archenemies Yankees not to mess with any of his Red Sox mates.
In addition, three very interesting facts about Varitek are that his fourteen years in the MLB were with the Red Sox; his pre-game preparation was always admired and appreciated by his teammates, especially by his pitchers, as it helped them throughout the game and to become better pitchers; and he once played one entire game with ‘one eye’ due to an eye infection that he was experiencing that day, which caused his vision to be blurry from his right eye.
Players with the caliber of Jason Varitek are not easy to find, and I assure you that it is not going to be easy to fill his shoes. I guess that what I am trying to say is that there have been many great Red Sox players, but just a very few of them have been as complete as “Tek”… the mentor, the leader, the captain. You will be missed on the field #33!
- Y gracias por no fumar!
Picture from answers.com
|Rodriguez (left) and Varitek (right) going at it. |
Picture from boston.com