Jason Varitek announced his retirement the other day. Sadly, his glory days were long gone, a good chunk of his goodwill burned up by his inability to throw out runners and his inability, despite the captain's C on his chest, to stop last year's dysfunctional collapse. But let's not dwell on the negatives. Let's remember Tek in the mid 2000s, a stellar catcher who could hit for power from both sides of the plate. A silent leader who speaks volumes when needed, as when he punched ARod in 2004. The guy behind the plate for four no-hitters. One of the guys who hit a home run in four consecutive at bats. Mr. stoic thunder thighs who made my wife swoon with his icy stare and monstrous legs.
I'll leave it for someone with a better command of baseball history to speak to his place in the game, although hardballtalk.com uses the numbers to paint him a slightly above average catcher who had a few excellent years. Regardless, I'll always remember him as one of the players who turned me into a baseball fan, and who took me on an incredible journey that culminated in that World Series win on my birthday back in 2004.
Smooth sailing Tek.