Saturday, March 3, 2012

Jason Varitek, 33 Reasons to like him

Jason Varitek, Red Sox catcher since 1998, just announced his retirement as a player from major league baseball.  He is the winner of 2 world series championships, has caught more games than any other Red Sox catcher.  He caught no hitters 4 times, and if Schilling wasn't so stubborn, would've caught a 5th.  He was well known for his charitable contributions and involvement in the community.

Additionally, Jason's autograph is very valuable.  Authenticated autographs are valued between $99 - $200.  As historians look as his statistics and records, in addition to the fact that he played his entire career with one team, I foresee his autograph price increasing steadily.  This is despite the fact he won't be elected to the baseball hall of fame, at least through the writers association.

As I was thinking of Jason one thing came to mind, he is the 2nd most popular Boston athlete to wear #33.  We all know who the most popular is (Larry Bird). Yet I thought I would list 33 reasons to like Jason Varitek.  So in no particular order, the 33 reasons to like Jason Varitek are:

1.  Played his whole career with the Red Sox.
2.  Won 2 world series with the Red Sox.
3.  Caught Hideo Nomo's no hitter.
4.  Caught Derek Lowe's no hitter.
5.  Caught Jon Lester's no hitter.
6.  Caught Clay Buchholz's no hitter.
7.  Caught more games in Red Sox history, than any other catcher.
8.  Gave out autographed baseballs to children on Halloween.
9.  In his first MLB plate appearance he recorded his first MLB hit.
10.  Sat on the top step of the dugout during his rehab in 2006 and 2010.  Supported his teammates for every inning.
11.  His 2005 season:  All star starting catcher, gold glove award winner, silver slugger award winner.
12.  Caught the last out of the 2007 world series.
13.  Graduated from Georgia Tech.
14.  Only player to play in the little league world series championship game, in the college world series championship game, olympics, MLB world series, MLB all star game and World Baseball Classic.
15.  He is the only player in Georgia Tech history to have his number retired (33).
16.  He was the Red Sox Captain.
17.  Played in the Cape Cod League (League MVP 1993).
18.  He was a switch hitter.
19.  He is responsible for raising over $700,000 for Boston's Children's Hospital.
20.  Hosts an annual fundraiser putt, putt tournament.
21.  Is involved in 14 charitable foundations.
22.  He had to catch Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideo Nomo, and Hideki Okajami.
23.  He played 15 seasons, all as a catcher.
24.  Caught 2 Cy young pitchers, Pedro Martinez and Bartolo Colon.
25.  He is in Georgia Tech's athletic hall of fame.
26.  He was the 26th player/coach to wear #33.  Past #33's were Tim McCarver, Jose Canseco, Darrell Johnson, Dave "Boo" Ferriss.
27.  He wore #47 in his first season (Terry Francona's wore that # as Red Sox manager)
28.  Played for 4 different managers:  Jimy Williams, Joe Kerrigan, Grady Little, Terry Francona.
29.  Played in 14 different playoff series.
30.  Had 33 RBI's in his playoff career.
31.  Was a 3 time all star.
32.  Was involved in one of the most lopsided trades in MLB history.
33.  Fought Alex Rodriguez on July 24, 2004.

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