I loved reading all of the well-wishes from baseball players and operations personnel that have had the opportunity to work with, play with, or play against Jason Varitek over his career.
The Full Count blog at weei.com has a bunch of well-wishes, but these are my favorites:
“I want to congratulate Jason Varitek, a.k.a “Johnny Unitas fl at-top hair cut” on a remarkable career and mostly for being part of the fi rst World Series in 2004 with Sox Nation. It seems like yesterday we were in our hotel rooms on the road hitting with a pizza box going over our stances in our underwear during our struggles offensively. But above all, he’s a true professional, a true teammate and, best yet, an even better person. I wish him much success in the up and coming real world and we’ll see you soon with powder and an ear piece on TV.” – Kevin Millar, Red Sox teammate from 2003-05, current MLB Network analyst.Count on Millar to say something that will give me nightmares. The image of him and Tek standing around in their underwear practicing hitting with a pizza box? Yeah, that's not burned into my vault of mental images. Thanks for that, Kevin.
”Jason Varitek will always have a prominent place in Red Sox history. He caught more games as a Red Sox and helped the team win their fi rst World Series in 86 years. I am happy for him and proud of his accomplishments. Congratulations Jason!” – Carlton Fisk, Hall of Fame catcher, Red Sox Hall of Famer, played with Boston from 1969-1980.To me, I like seeing the enthusiasm in Carlton Fisk's praise of Tek. Not many other folks used an exclamation point. John Valentin was the only other person to exclaim his appreciation of Tek (and he did it twice). In all seriousness though, there's something extra special in Fisk's praise because he was the catcher that set the bar for Tek. Call me strange, but that's very cool to me.
Watching Tek's retirement speech was hard for me. I probably teared up as much as he did (I'm a little bit of a crybaby). Today I wear my Varitek jersey in honor of my favorite baseball player. Congratulations again, Tek. What else can I say? I'll miss you.