When looking back on the career of Jason Varitek, there are two very important names that come to mind: Heathcliff Slocumb and Dan Wilson.
Red Sox fans should be grateful to Wilson, the No. 1 catcher for the Seattle Mariners in the 1990s. Without Wilson's .285 batting average in 1995 and 1996, to go with 134 runs batted in, it is highly likely that Varitek would have spent his career in a Mariners uniform.
Thanks goes to Heathcliff Slocumb for being "good enough" to make the trade. Of course, he had gone 0-5 with a 5.79 ERA and a 1.971 WHIP in 49 games for the Red Sox in 1997—if you consider that good.
History is always the greatest general manager there is. In this case, the trade of Derek Lowe and Varitek to the Red Sox is one that the Mariners wish they could have back hundreds of times over. While Slocumb was instrumental in the bullpen for the Mariners in their 1997 AL West division run, after that, he fell apart. He ended his career after 10 seasons, in 2000, having played for eight different teams.
Meanwhile, Varitek would remain a member of the Boston Red Sox for the rest of his career (to date.) While 'Tek has been extended an invitation to spring training with the Red Sox, the likelihood of him making the roster is slim, with three other catchers already signed with the team: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kelly Shoppach and Ryan Lavarnway.
Speculation of Varitek retiring has been circulating all over the Internet. Run a quick Google search and you'll likely run across a dozen or so pieces on the subject. With many fans ready to send Varitek off into the sunset, here is a look back at the 10 most memorable moments in his career.