Former Captain of the Boston Red Sox and two-time Major League Baseball World Series champion Jason Varitek will be honored with the 2012 William A. “Bill” Shea Distinguished Little League Graduate Award during the 66th Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.
The ceremony for Mr. Varitek is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25 at Lamade Stadium prior to the United States Championship Game at 3:30 p.m. Eastern U.S. Time.
“Jason Varitek excelled as an athlete throughout his childhood, and as a professional, he reached the pinnacle in 2004 and 2007 with the World Champion Boston Red Sox,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “Throughout his years in Major League Baseball, he never lost sight of the importance of being an ambassador for the game. Recently retired, his continued willingness to provide time, attention and assistance to several social causes makes him a worthy recipient of the Bill Shea Award.”
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, spent 15 years with the Red Sox, and was team captain for seven seasons (2006-2011). He retired earlier this year, having played 1,546 Major League games, all with Boston.
“Playing Little League provided me with the building blocks toward pursing baseball,” Mr. Varitek, one of two players to have participated in the Little League World Series, College World Series and Major League baseball World Series, said. “Those experiences at a young age set the groundwork for playing and what you do outside of playing. I signed my first autograph at the Little League World Series.”
“Baseball has been a life-long ambition from Mr. Varitek,” Mr. Keener said. “He played the game for its enjoyment and had the talent to make baseball his career. His personal and professional experiences and enthusiasm for Little League mesh with the role that Little League plays in communities throughout the world, which makes us proud to honor him with this award.”
The Bill Shea Award was established in 1987 to serve a two-fold purpose. First, and most importantly, the award is presented to a former Little Leaguer in Major League Baseball who best exemplifies the spirit of Little League. Consideration for selection includes both the individual’s ability and accomplishments and that person’s status as a positive role model.