The captain is finally calling it a career. Jason Varitek, the longtime captain and lifelong member of the Boston Red Sox, officially announced his retirement from Major League Baseball after 15 seasons in a press conference Thursday afternoon in Fort Myers, Florida.
"I'm here to officially announce that I'm retiring as a player," Varitek said, standing in front of home plate on the field at JetBlue Park. "After months of deliberating what to do, I decided that it's best to me and my family to retire a Red Sox. This has probably been the most difficult decision of my career."
Varitek played in over 1,500 games with the Sox (1,546 to be exact) in a career that began in 1997 when he was 25 years old. Varitek was drafted No. 14 overall in the first round of the 1994 amateur draft, but was traded to Boston along with Derek Lowe. Varitek debuted with the Sox on September 24, 1997. He went on to .256 and hit 193 home runs and drove in 757 RBI, all while anchoring the pitching staff and catching a record four no-hitters.
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