"My decision to retire wasn't something that I took lightly [...] This has probably been the most difficult decision that I've had to make in my career. But the opportunity to be able to start and finish my Major League career in one place is why I'm standing here today."
The Red Sox offered the 39-year-old a minor-league contract with a spring training invite, but Varitek turned it down and opted to hang up his spikes. He intends now to spend a lot more time with his family, which is what they always say. And presumably they always mean it. Baseball players do not get to spend all that much time with their families. Nobody's ever thrilled about having to retire, but there's no denying the benefits.
Varitek joined the Red Sox in 1997 and established himself as team captain. He played in three All-Star Games, he caught four no-hitters, he won two World Series, and he drilled 204 home runs if you count the playoffs. He ranks No. 30 in baseball history in games played as a catcher, between Darrell Porter and Rollie Hemsley. Safe to say Jason Varitek accomplished more than most.