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Jason Varitek bids emotional farewell to Boston Red Sox [Video]

March 02, 2012|By Houston Mitchell
  • Jason Varitek, right, gives former teammate David Oritz a hug at the news conference announcing Varitek's retirement.
Jason Varitek, right, gives former teammate David Oritz a hug at the news… (Alan Diaz / Associated Press )

Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, who played for the team for 15 seasons including their World Series title teams of 2004 and 2007, retired Thursday during an emotional news conference in Fort Myers, Fla.

"My teammates are what I’m going to miss most," Varitek said, his eyes filling with tears. "The hardest thing to do is to walk away from your teammates and what they’ve meant to you over the years.”

The Red Sox acquired Varitek in a 1997 trade with the Seattle Mariners, giving up the immortal Heathcliff Slocumb in return.

“You have not only been our captain, you have been our rock,” Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner said. “You have personified the rugged, aggressive, fiercely competitive style of play that has characterized our club during your tenure.”

Agent Scott Boras said Varitek, 39, could probably have signed with another team, but wanted to end his career with Boston.

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