Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Vignettes from Vermont: "Thanks, Tek Day"

BENNINGTON -- The Red Sox paid tribute to the heart and soul of the franchise for 15 years, catcher Jason Varitek, before tonight's game against the Blue Jays.

The Seattle Mariners drafted Varitek in the 1st round (14th pick) in '94 and in '97 traded him and Derek Lowe to the Red Sox for reliever Heathcliff Slocumb. Varitek singled in his only Red Sox at-bat that season (Sept. 24) and played 86 games in '98 while splitting time with Scott Hatteberg. The Sox named Varitek their starting catcher for the '99 season.

Over the next 13 seasons Varitek set a Major League record by catching 4 no-hitters while making 3 All-Star Games, winning the Golden Glove and Silver Slugger awards and wearing the captain's "C" for 6 seasons. At the plate he had 1,307 hits, 306 doubles, 14 triples, 193 homers, 757 RBIs, 25 stolen bases and hit .256. He's one of two players in the sport's history (Ed Vosburg the other) to play in the Little League World Series, the College World Series (Georgia Tech) and Major League Baseball World Series -- leading the Sox to the title in 2004 to break an 86-year drought. Varitek and the Sox won it again in 2007.

You can find out a ton more about Jason Varitek at www.baseball-reference.com.

Now, while I take great pride in my ability to capture a moment on camera, taking photos from the TV with a phone is not so easy. Here are a few dozen moments showing Varitek, his former Soxian teammates, his family and others during tonight's emotional ceremony.

What's your favorite Varitek moment in a Sox uniform? Tweet it to @incrediblekulk