The Red Sox organization threw a party for Jason Varitek on Saturday, July 21 in the name of “Thanks Tek Day”. The retired and retiring Captain Tek decided in April that he would hang ’em up as a Red Sox. The Sox know how to put on a good party and this one was no different. Although lacking some of the emotion of Tim Wakefield’s day, it was a fitting tribute to Jason Varitek — a man of few words with the heart of a lion.
In tribute to the quiet captain, I will keep my words to a minimum and tell the story in the photographs I took on that special day.
Clay Buchholz signed autographs for some grateful fans before the festivities began. Clay needs to take smiling lessons from Mike Aviles and Cody Ross. It’s not that serious, Clay!
Jason had a little something to do with bringing this hardware to Boston.
David Ortiz presented Tek with two of the most uncomfortable chairs that ever existed — Fenway grandstand seats — with each of their uniform numbers on them.
Jason had the attention of the Red Sox dugout. Mike Aviles (#3) seemed to be enjoying himself, as usual.
The three amigos presented a gift in appreciation of the years Jason put up with them. (My words, not theirs.)
The Red Sox gave Jason a brand new shiny pickup truck (red, of course). What else do you give a man who lives in Georgia and who has everything. Hey, he’s retired and on a fixed income, you know. I wonder if part of my astronomical ticket price went towards this little gift. You’re welcome, Tek.
Jason’s oldest three daughters gave a sweet speech thanking him for doing all those dad things like combing their hair and making ponytails. (Theirs, not his.)
Then Jason thanked everybody with a simple, “Thank you”. (See “man of few words” reference above.)
And he threw out the first pitch to … who else but Tim Wakefield. It was a knuckleball.
The obligatory man hug!
Time to let the game begin! The Red Sox took on the Toronto Blue Jays in the second game of a three-game series.
Pedey is always ready.
Salty is always ready, too. How can he crouch like that? Ouch.
Mike caught me taking his picture. Say CHEEEEEESE!
Will Middlebrooks, our new third baseman. Ahhhh, the promise of youth!
Salty hit a homerun! Yay!
Pedro continues to find ways to get on base.
Mike Aviles is still smiling.
Cody has a lot to smile about, too. He must have still had the glow from his walk-off homerun two days earlier.
I love the tributes to the military men and women at Fenway. Bobby V. always pays his respects.
I love Daniel Nava’s spirit and his story. And there he is on base again!
Pedey is still ready. Unfortunately, the Red Sox were not. They lost the game to the Blue Jays and went on to be swept in the series. Those boys really know how to ruin a party.
Aaron Cook pitched a fine game except for a couple of misplaced pitches.
But, still, I believe. Sort of.