An emotional Jason Varitek said goodbye today, formally announcing his retirement from Major League Baseball in a press conference held at JetBlue Park.
With players, staff, and family in presence, Varitek had many people to thank for the success he enjoyed in his years playing ball. Naming coaches from Little League all the way to the Red Sox, the 15-year veteran was particularly grateful to catching instructor Gary Tuck for his support during the difficult final years of Varitek's career. Varitek would also single out Terry Francona ("thank you for allowing me to sail with you and captain your ship") and a number of Sox staff members.
While the Captain considered returning for another year, he indicated that the deciding factor was the ability to both start and finish his career with the same organization. With Boston being the only offer that would be worthwhile, and the Red Sox deciding to move on, Varitek made the call to hang up his cleats.
Still, this isn't likely to be the last we see of him. When asked about the possibility of staying with the team off-the-field, Varitek indicated that he and the team were discussing roles which could allow him to stay involved. Whether that means we have our next Pesky remains to be seen.
For now, however, Varitek will focus on the more important things in life, like "going to a lot more soccer practices and a lot more soccer games."