I always judge how famous a player is by seeing if my wife knows the player. Even though she is a Boston Red Sox fan (mainly to screw with me) she doesn’t know many players on the team. See did know one player though and always asked how he was doing. She knew Jason Varitek. As of today, Jason Varitek has not showed up to training camp. That isn’t to say that he won’t but it could be a sign that he is going to announce his retirement soon.
Varitek will be 40 this season and with Salty and Shoppach going to be behind the plate, that leaves Varitek on the outside looking in. Of course he would have mainly been used as a DH / Backup catcher this season, his precense will most certainly be missed. Maybe it was because of the changing of the guard in the front office and with Valentine as manager, maybe it was all the pain associated with being a catcher at the age of almost 40. We probably won’t be seeing Tek around this season, at least as a player.
Although he can’t remotely be considered a Hall of Famer, he was the emotional backbone of the team. He was the leader in the locker room and the on field game manager. They say catchers make the best managers, I would be shocked if he didn’t pursue a coaching job post-career. His best season was probably 2003 when he hit 0.273/25/85 and he will always be remembered for being the leader of two World Series Championships.
His cards tell the story of his career. Even as a former first round pick, his cards never lit up the eBay prices, then as he became a leader of an extremely popular Red Sox team, it started peaking at about $90, now as his career comes to an end, you can pick up a nice Varitek autographed card for about $20 – $30. It’s going to be strange in Beantown not seeing ‘Tek on the bench or at batting practice. If he is indeed retired it truly is an end of an era in Boston baseball history.