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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2008 > Little League Graduate Jason Varitek, Captain of MLB’s Boston Red Sox, Sets Team Record for Home Runs by a Catcher

Little League Graduate Jason Varitek, Captain of MLB’s Boston Red Sox, Sets Team Record for Home Runs by a Catcher

Little League Graduate Jason Varitek, Captain of MLB’s Boston Red Sox, Sets Team Record for Home Runs by a Catcher

Jason Veritek Red Sox Headshot

From Little League to the Major Leagues, leadership and clutch performances have driven the baseball career of Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek.

In a recent game against the American League Eastern Division-leading Tampa Bay Rays, 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, delivered a two-run home run into the upper deck at Tropicana Field for his 158th career homer.

The home run moved Mr. Varitek past Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk and into the top spot on the Red Sox’s team home run list among catchers.

Jason Veritek Little League Headshot

Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek as a Little Leaguer in 1984.

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, and has been a stalwart behind the plate for Boston ever since. He has been a key contributor in both of the Red Sox championship seasons (2004 and 2007).

He ranks as Boston’s all-time postseason leader in games played (53) and at-bats (194), ranks second in doubles (12) and runs (33), and is third in hits (50), home runs (10) and RBI (32). He has appeared in 42 of Boston’s last 43 playoff games since 2003, batting .268 (40-149) with eight home runs, 27 runs batted in and 25 runs scored.

In his 11-year Major League career, Mr. Varitek has played in more than 1,300 games. He has a career batting average of .263, with nearly 1,200 hits and more than 650 runs batted in.

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 Veritek Little League World Series At Bat

Jason Varitek played in the 1984 Little League Baseball World Series for Altamonte Springs (Fla.) National Little League. His team played for the World Series championship, losing to Seoul, South Korea.