Tuesday, February 28, 2012

First Wake, now Tek

Jason Varitek is officially announcing his retirement Thursday, which means both of the longest tenured Red Sox have decided to hang 'em up in a span of less than two weeks.  I feel similarly about Varitek as I do about Wakefield, obviously I can't try to sum up everything he did in a Boston uniform.  So I will just say this: Varitek is the greatest player in Major League history at catching no hitters.  He is the only one ever to do it FOUR times; and he came within a single out of five.  Obviously there is a significant amount of luck/chance involved in this, but it's definitely not a coincidence either.

I remember exactly where I was on all 5 occasions.  Saturday, April 27, 2002, Derek Lowe beat Tampa 10-0, throwing the first no-hitter at Fenway park in 37 years.  I watched the game while working at Boston Beer Works by North Station.  Thursday, June 7, 2007 Curt Schilling beat Oakland 1-0, giving up just one hit to the A's Shannon Stewart with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th.  My buddy and I were on day trip to the Vineyard, and watched the game at The Sandbar in Oak Bluffs.  Later that season, on Saturday, September 1, 2007, Clay Buchholz threw a no-no vs Baltimore in just his second Major League start ever. Again I was working at a bar (but still watching), this time at Foundation Lounge in Kenmore Square.

Now here's the big reason for why I chose this topic specifically: For both the first and last no-hitters that Jason Varitek ever caught, I WAS THERE.  In the ballpark.  I want so badly to take a picture of the ticket stubs and post it, unfortunately they are in a scrap book somewhere at my parents' house, so you're just going to have to take my word for it.  Wednesday, April 4, 2001, Hideo Nomo no-hit the Orioles at Camden Yards.  Because of a rain out the day before it was just the second game of the season.  I was living in Richmond, VA, and some fraternity brothers and I decided to make the drive up to Baltimore for the game that night.  And finally, Monday, May 19, 2008 Jon Lester tossed a no-hitter vs Kansas City, beating the Royals 7-0.  My boss from Foundation Lounge took us all to Fenway that night for a staff outing.  We sat in the now defunct Tony Conigliaro bleacher section up high in right field, and it was an incredibly cold and windy night for mid-May.

So there you have it.  Jason Varitek was behind the plate each and every time.

1 comment:

  1. What do you think of a Wake - Tek ceremonial first pitch to start the season?


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