Due to what turned out to be one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history, Jason Varitek joined the Red Sox halfway through the 1997 season.
The rest is history.
Two World Series Championships, 3 Time All-Star, a Gold Glove. He caught four No-hitters, KO'd A-Rod, banged Heidi Watney, and played in more postseason games than any other Red Sox.
He was the Sox' first official Team Captain since 1989 (Jim Rice), and wore that badge well. He was known for his "Dirt Dog" style of play, and his incredible ability to manage a pitching staff. He groomed prospects like Pappelbon, Lester, and Buchholz into the formidable Major League pitchers that they have become.
His numbers, especially offensive, have suffered in recent years, and it has looked like he has little in the tank. So, I am glad to see him walk away as a Red Sox Legend now, rather than try to eek it out some city like Kansas City or Oakland for the next two years.
So Long Tek... Thanks for being being our Captain!