This is not surprising given all of the rumblings we’ve heard, but it’s going to be official as of Thursday: Jason Varitek is retiring. He told the Boston Globe that he will announce it formally in Fort Myers that day.
The end was certainly nigh. Varitek turns 40 in April. He hit .221/.300/.423 with 11 home runs, 36 RBIs and a .723 OPS over 68 games last season, with basically negative defensive value. For his career, however, he hit .256/.341/.435 with 193 home runs and 757 RBIs. He was a three-time All-Star. He won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award in 2005. He got a couple of MVP votes along the way.
But more significant is the leadership role he played with the Red Sox teams that will always be remembered for breaking the 86-year World Series drought. And because of that, Varitek’s stature in the team’s history will always be greater than even his considerable stature the pure baseball merits warrant.
Happy trails, Mr. Varitek. Baseball was better for your being a part of it.