“O Captain, My Captain….Your fearful trip is done, the ship has weathered every rack, the prize you sought is won.” Walt Whitman

Jason Varitek, the Captain, said goodbye Thursday. There is a moment that will forevermore define him, and we all know what it is….It started with this,

Be careful what you ask for Alex….You just might…

Get it!

How many Red Sox fans lived vicariously through Jason Varitek at this moment?

How many Red Sox fans would have traded places with Tek for this one moment? 

How many Red Sox fans left their seats with a raucous cheer at this moment? 

How many Red Sox fans will ever get tired of looking at this?

Remember the scene? Remember the scenario? All winter long, ARod was coming to Boston. The Fenway Faithful (the “Nation” hadn’t quite arrived yet)  were giddy with excitement, with anticipation. Remember when you wanted to date that gorgeous cheerleader but she “would never be interested in you”. The cheerleader said yes! Wow, finally and the Fenway Faithful were ready, flowers ordered, suit pressed, reservations made, finally, she said yes. And then, that freaking quarterback, called and said, “sure I’ll take you” leaving the Faithful all dressed up with nowhere to go…..Again!

The 1967 Red Sox are credited with saving the franchise and setting into motion what has become Red Sox Nation. That team was led by one of only three Red Sox captains since 1943.

Carl Yastrzemski 1967 Triple Crown Winner and MVP.

 I submit to you that just as that year turned the franchise around, the redefining of this Red Sox era came at the moment Jason Varitek invited Mr. Rodriquez to have a taste of his glove! It was that moment which re-defined the 2004 Red Sox season. It was that moment that they embarked upon a path that would change the history of the franchise and the game. It was that moment which encapsulated the rebirth of the Boston Red Sox. And it was Jason Varitek who lead the band of “idiots” and the “Nation” to their long eluded promised land!

For “the Captain” was a presence! The stat geeks will not get all worked up about his “numbers”. He was an all-star three times, a Gold Glove winner but once, and he did win a Silver Slugger Award in 2005. A solid offensive career but nothing to really “wow” about.  But he was a force and sometimes a force cannot be quantified. Pick your cliché and it will apply to Varitek, “played the game the way it should be played”, “he always had your back”; the reasons clichés are born is simply because they are weak attempts to quantify immeasurable forces and Jason Varitek was an immeasurable force.

The simple fact is that he made everybody around him better and that is the essence of a team player. Adrian Gonzalez said of him, “he cares more about his teammates than anyone I’ve ever played with.” Nuff Ced!

Arrivederci Captain, grazie !

And so it is on this date in Fenway Park history, March 3, 2012.

About fenwaypark100

Hello and welcome, my name is Raymond Sinibaldi. An educator for more than two decades, a baseball fan for nearly 60 years, I have authored four books about baseball and her glorious history; with a fifth on the way in late spring of 2015; the first, The Babe in Red Stockings which was co-authored with Kerry Keene and David Hickey. It is a chronicle of Babe's days with the Red Sox. We also penned a screenplay about Babe's Red Sox days so if any of you are Hollywood inclined or would like to represent us in forwarding that effort feel free to contact me through my email. In 2012 we three amigos published Images of Fenway Park in honor of the 100th birthday of Fenway Park. That led to the creation of this blog. The following year, 2013 came my first solo venture, Spring Training in Bradenton and Sarasota. This is a pictorial history of spring training in those two Florida cities. The spring of 2014 brought forth the 1967 Red Sox, The Impossible Dream Season. The title speaks for itself and it also is a pictorial history. Many of the photos in this book were never published before. The spring of 2015 will bring 1975 Red Sox, American League Champions. Another pictorial effort, this will be about the Red Sox championship season of 1975 and the World Series that restored baseball in America. I was fortunate enough to consult with sculptor Franc Talarico on the “Jimmy Fund” statue of Ted Williams which stands outside both Fenway Park and Jet Blue Park Fenway South, in Fort Myers Florida. That story is contained in the near 300 posts which are contained herein. This blog has been dormant for awhile but 2015 will bring it back to life so jump on board, pass the word and feel free to contact me about anything you read or ideas you may have for a topic. Thanks for stopping by, poke around and enjoy. Autographed copies of all my books are available here, simply click on Raymond Sinibaldi and email me.
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