Jason Varitek Retirement: His 5 Greatest Yankees-Red Sox Rivalry Moments
Jason Varitek had an outstanding 15-year career with the Boston Red Sox, and he has finally decided to call it a career. Varitek will announce his retirement, and it will be time to reminisce over some of the best moments in his career.
As one of the few captains in baseball, Varitek was a leader for the Red Sox, and it was seen both in his play on the field as well as his interactions with his teammates. He helped lead the Red Sox to two World Series titles, including their first in 86 years.
Some of the greatest moments in Varitek's career came in the heat of the rivalry games that Red Sox played against the New York Yankees.
5. April 14, 2005
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The Boston Red Sox's title defense in 2005 did not start off on the right foot. They began the year 1-5 with three losses to the New York Yankees.
Boston was in an early-season battle with the Yankees, and they wanted to make sure that their start did not get even worse then it already was.
Jason Varitek was able to deliver for the Red Sox, and he helped them pick up a win against the Yankees. He hit one of his 14 career triples in this game, and he also added a home run. Varitek's three-RBI performance led the Red Sox to a 9-4 win.
4. Sept. 15, 1998
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Jason Varitek would play 172 games against the New York Yankees during the regular season his career, but one of the most memorable games against them would come in his first season in the major leagues.
Varitek slugged his first home run against the Yankees on Sept. 15, 1998. He hit it off of Mike Jerzembeck. Varitek was not done that game, though. He later hit a second home run off of Mike Buddie.
He would finish the game with those two home runs and five RBI.
3. April 20, 2007
Early-season games count just as much as those that are played later on in the year, and the Boston Red Sox always want to beat the New York Yankees. 2007 was a long, drawn-out season, and the Red Sox won the AL East by two games.
One of the Red Sox's biggest wins that year came during the first few weeks of the season. The Red Sox were playing the Yankees at Fenway Park, and they were trailing 6-2 entering the bottom of the eighth.
The Red Sox put men on and scored one run. Varitek came to the plate and kept the rally alive by driving in one on an RBI single. Boston would continue to score, and they would win the game by a score of 7-6.
Varitek went 3-for-4 that game. He scored two runs, drove in three and hit a home run.
2. 2004 ALCS Game 5
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Flying out is almost never a big moment in a baseball player's career. Jason Varitek is an exception to that, as he had a huge sacrifice fly in Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS.
The Boston Red Sox entered the game down three games to one to the New York Yankees. As the game wore on, the Red Sox found themselves down 4-2 entering the bottom of the eighth.
David Ortiz led off the inning with a solo home run, but the Red Sox were still inching closer to elimination. The Red Sox then put two runners on with one out, and Varitek stepped to the plate. He flew out by drove in the game's tying run.
Boston would go on to win the game in the 14th inning and keep themselves alive.
1. July 24, 2004
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Entering their game against the New York Yankees on July 24, 2004, the Boston Red Sox were in a bit of a funk, and they found themselves trailing the Yankees by nine-and-a-half games in the standings.
As with all Yankees-Red Sox games, this was an intense game. Pitcher Bronson Arroyo hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch, and Rodriguez then started to shout at Arroyo as he headed towards first base.
Varitek was not having any of it. He got right up in Rodriguez's face, and a brawl ensued. Varitek was eventually tossed from the game, but he gave the Red Sox a huge spark.
The Red Sox would rally for a comeback win, and the game was a big turning point for Boston. They posted the best record in the American League following that game, as they went 46-20 on their way to the playoffs.