Little League Graduate Jason Varitek, Captain of MLB’s Boston Red Sox, Announces Retirement
Little League to the Major Leagues, leadership and clutch performances have driven the baseball career of Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. Today, the two-time World Series Champion announced his retirement after 15 seasons.
Mr. Varitek, who at age 12 played a key role in Altamonte Springs (Fla.) National Little League’s run to the 1984 Little League Baseball World Series United States Championship, has been with the Red Sox since 1997, and was team captain for seven seasons (2006-2011). He retires having played 1,546 Major League games, all with Boston.
The three-time all-star caught four no-hitters in 1,488 games behind the plate, and won the Gold Glove in 2005. He ranks first for Boston catchers in career hits (1,307); runs (664); home runs (193); runs batted in (757); and is second all-time in Boston team history with 11 postseason home runs. His career batting average was .256.
Playing shortstop, first base and catcher during games in Williamsport, Mr. Varitek was 1-for-7 at the plate with three walks and a run scored. His team lost to the Far East representatives from Seoul, South Korea, 6-2 in the World Championship Game.
It seems like success has followed Mr. Varitek whenever he’s run onto a baseball field. The Rochester, Mich., native grew up in Florida where he played Little League. Years after reaching the Little League Baseball World Series championship game, he won the College World Series with Georgia Tech University, and is the only Yellow Jackets baseball player to have his number retired.
A three-time All-America selection at Georgia Tech, he was selected to the USA Baseball national team and played in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. One year later, he was recognized by Baseball America Magazine as the 1993 Amateur Player of the Year.
Mr. Varitek made his Major League debut on Sept. 24, 1997. He was a key contributor in both of the Red Sox championship seasons (2004 and 2007); and ranks as Boston’s all-time postseason leader in games played (63) and at-bats (228); and is second in doubles (12) runs scored (37), and home runs (11). In Red Sox postseason history, he places third for total hits (54) and RBI (33).
Mr. Varitek is one of two players to play in the Little League Baseball World Series, College World Series and Major League Baseball World Series. The other is pitcher Ed Vosberg.
Jason Varitek helped lead his team to the 1984 Little League Baseball World Series Championship Game. Despite losing in that game, Mr. Varitek went on to play in the College Baseball World Series, and in seven seasons as captain of the Boston Red Sox, won two Major League Baseball World Series championships.