Captain's Farewell: Jason Varitek Will Always Be 'Captain'

BOSTON - OCTOBER 3: Jason Varitek #33 of the Boston Red Sox reacts to fan applause as he leaves the field for a replacement in the ninth inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park October 3 2010 in Boston Massachusetts. The Red Sox won 8-4. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

A belated goodbye to Jason Varitek, who may very well have played his last game with the Red Sox, and who will always be "The Captain."

We have all read those sad stories about how the captain at some point had to abandon his ship, or at least step aside for the first mate to take over.

Last week, we witnessed yet another one of those stories.

After the Red Sox finished their season off strong by ruining the Yankees division chances, the day belonged to Catcher and 39-year old Jason Varitek.

Varitek, or as Red Sox fans call him, "The Captain," caught what was possibly the last game as a member of the Boston Red Sox, and maybe of his career, on Oct. 3.

When Varitek was lifted for Kevin Cash in the ninth inning, he was given a standing ovation by the fans at Fenway Park and his teammates.  This was a truely special moment for anyone who witnessed it.

With Victor Martinez and newly acquired Jarrod Saltalamacchia possibly on board for next year, it appears that Varitek's 14-year career in Boston has drawn to a close.

If this is true, Varitek will be gone but not forgotten.

In his 14 seasons in Boston, Varitek has mustered a .258 career batting average, hit 182 home runs and driven in almost 800 runs. 

But in those 14 years, Varitek established himself as the best game-calling catcher in Red Sox history, catching two world series championship teams and the two Red Sox no-hitters this decade in Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester

Varitek is one of two players on the current roster that was on the 2004 World Series roster and has been an All-Star three times. 

Even though he was never able to catch Tim Wakefield's knuckleball (which is a task Doug Mirabelli is only able to perform), Varitek was credited with the success of Josh Beckett, John Lester and Clay Buchholz (all went on to win 16+ games at least once).

On top of it all, Varitek was a fan favorite. 

From moments like Sunday where he said his farewell, to the Yankees-Red Sox brawl where he took down Alex Rodriguez, Red Sox fans just can't get enough of 'Tek'

As they say, all good things must come to an end.  And to you Jason, you will be missed.

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