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Varitek makes retirement official at emotional presser

Mar 1, 2012, 8:28 PM EST

Boston Red Sox' Varitek announces his retirement from baseball during a news conference at the team's spring training complex in Fort Myers Reuters

Veteran catcher Jason Varitek officially put an end to his playing career on Thursday evening with a farewell press conference at the Red Sox’ spring training complex in Fort Myers, Florida.

Speaking from a podium fittingly placed just in front of home plate at the newly constructed JetBlue Park, Varitek addressed his reasoning behind the decision to call it quits and expressed a deep affection for the Red Sox organization. The 39-year-old backstop was flanked by his wife and three daughters.

“This last week is probably one of the hardest weeks you go through as a player,” Varitek told those gathered while taking intermittent pauses and wiping tears from his eyes. “After months of deliberating what to do, I decided that it’s best for me and my family that I retire — that I retire a Red Sox. This decision wasn’t something I took lightly in any sense of the word, nor did I want to do it more than once. This has probably been the most difficult decision I’ve had to make in my career, but the opportunity to start and finish my major-league career in one place meant more to me, and that’s why I’m standing here today.”

Varitek was a .256/.341/.435 career hitter during his 15-year MLB career. The three-time All-Star and 2005 Gold Glove winner will finish with 1,307 career hits, 193 career home runs and two World Series rings.

  1. djdvd - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    C is for crybaby

    • clevername1 - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:50 PM

      sorry, below comment was directed at you

  2. brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Someone forget to tell the red sox that he retired 2 years ago.

    • ras1tafari - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      you’re two days late and a twitter acct short on that one, pal. Try to be original.

  3. cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Happy trails, ‘Tek. AL East won’t be the same this season without him and Posada backstopping their respective teams.

  4. garryfish - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    After Bobby V blows up, he will be the next manager

  5. cmbailey7384 - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Best of luck to you, Captain Fenway, you will be missed

    • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:12 PM

      Captain Fenway? Did you actually post that? Didn’t you proofread it, because it looks like to me that you actually just called someone Captain Fenway?

      • bigharold - Mar 2, 2012 at 12:08 AM

        It’s really Capt Sucker Punch but no that he’s retiring … Hail and Fare Well.

  6. Glenn - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    I believe he has caught more no-hitters than any other catcher.

    • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:09 PM

      What does that have to do with anything?

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:50 PM

        Sooo, pitch selection, target set up, signal hiding, pitcher trust, rapport, runner anticipation…that means nothing to a no-hitter? Interesting philosophical stance, baseball wise. You must be new to baseball.

      • Alex K - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:21 AM

        I think you’re putting a little too much stock in those things, cur. They may have a little to do with the no hitter, but the pitcher throwing good pitches and luck have a lot more to do with it. In the end I don’t think the cather has a whole lot to do with a no hitter.

  7. clevername1 - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    D is for douche

    • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:07 PM

      Very witty. In fact he will probably rescind his comment.

  8. hushbrother - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Surely not the last we’ll see of Jason Varitek. He has “future coach or manager” displayed on him as prominently as the “C”

  9. dirtyharry1971 - Mar 2, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    He should join the WWE as a jobber, he would be better at that then a coach and we can put a big C on his jobber outfit. Its pretty much the samething

  10. yankeesjetsknicksrangers - Mar 2, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Heidi Watney was spotted waiting in a stall in the clubhouse bathroom.

  11. lucidsportsfan - Mar 2, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    His MLB record 4 (and almost 5) no-hitters caught is incredibly impressive to me. In fact I remember each of them in detail http://www.lucidsportsfan.com/2012_02_26_archive.html#8373681470825466399

  12. roverboy1949 - Mar 2, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    Tek can be appreciated by true BB fans everywhere, but he can be loved in Boston. He did the things that the Sox needed to get done to help bring 2 rings to the city. He may not be one of the greatest ever, but he was a great catcher for the Red Sox. He helped bring along some great pitching talent with his approach behind the plate. He knew his opponents and his pitch selection made good pitchers much better.
    I’ve noticed some people don’t think much of him, but that’s their opinion and they have a right to it. Those of us who watched him for his whole career can really appreciate his many gifts. We will miss him. I hope there is a spot for him in baseball as a coach or manager. He has too much knowledge to waste.

  13. foreverchipper10 - Mar 2, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    It is incredible to me how much hate there is in these past few Varitek threads. Ridiculous.

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