One small trade

When talking about "Favorite Red Sox acquisition" there are a lot of good choices. There's Ortiz. Or Sale. Or Pedro. Some might pick Beckett. But I'm not going to pick any of those.

No, instead I'm going to talk about one small trade that brought the only player whose jersey I have.

Let me set the scene for you. The year is 1997 and the Red Sox are mired in a period of mediocrity. (They would finish 4th in the AL East that year.) Dan Duquette was still the GM and we were still 4 years away from John Henry's group purchasing the Red Sox.

At the trade deadline, the Mariners came calling. They needed pitching. We needed fresh blood in the farm system. And so one small trade happened that would become the most lobsided trade in Mariners history.

On July 31, 1997, the Red Sox sent Heathcliff Slocumb to the Mariners in exchange for minor leaguers Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe.

This trade, of course, had profound impact on the 2004 World Series team. The Red Sox got a great deal of production out of Derek Lowe in the time he was here, not the least of which being the fact that he was the winning pitcher in the clinching game of all three postseason series in 2004.

But this [post is really about the man that came over with Lowe in that trade.

To this day, Varitek is still one of my favorite players. I could talk about his record 4 no-hitters caught. (one of which was thrown by Derek Lowe) I could talk about his defense or his game calling. I could talk about his leadership, to the point where he was the last player to wear a C on his chest. I could talk about all of this, but this is stuff we all know.

What made me love Tek as a player, though, was the WAY he did his job. He quietly went about his daily routine, studying the opponents for countless hours. He worked hard. He studied. He prepared. And, for the most part, stayed controversy free. And he was fun to watch.

This doesn't hurt either:


Fifteen years later, this still makes me smile...

Really... A-Rod has never looked better!

And this trade is still paying dividends. Tek is still employed by the Sox and working with the kids, instilling his work ethic into them. One day, he could even be in the dugout as the Sox' manager. Maybe he can get another ring.

So there you have it. My favorite Red Sox acquisition. It may not be the sexiest choice. It may not be anyone else's choice.

But Varitek is one of my favorite players. And I'm thankfuk the Sox got him.