December 21, 2011; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek (right) walks off the court with Catherine Panagiotopoulos (left) after the Boston Celtics defeated the Toronto Raptors 81-73 at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Capt. Tek: after 15 years at home plate, he's heading for home's gate

After 1,546 games in 15 years at home plate for the Red Sox, Jason Varitek is ready to go home.

“After months of deliberating on what to do I decided it was best for me and my family to retire. What convinced me not to (come back) is what is best for me and my family.

Looking over at his wife, Catherine, and three daughters, Alexandra, Kendall and Caroline, he smiles:

“You’ve made going home so much easier and more enjoyable.”

Kurt Vonnegut said that he would like to be remembered as a person who “bargained in good faith with his destiny.”

“As I walk away from this game I can look at the man in the mirror and be proud of what I gave to this game, this organization and my teammates.”

About the now iconic image of the “Mitt Moment,” when he blocked A-Rod from attacking his pitcher, Bronson Arroyo, he said it was not about fighting:

“It was just about being a teammate. It’s nothing about the fight; it’s just about sticking up for my teammate.”

About retiring and not signing with another team:

“The opportunity to both start and finish my career in one place is the most important thing to me.”

What is the most difficult part of retiring?

“The hardest thing to do is to walk away from your teammates, and what they’ve meant to you over the years. My teammates. It’s what I’m going to miss most.”

It is fitting that, in his iconic image, confronting A-Rod, he was standing up for his team mate; he also stood for the character of the Red Sox; he was a stand-up guy.

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Tags: A-Rod Address Alex Rodriguez Alexandra Varitek Caroline Varitek Catherine Varitek Four Daughters Jason Varitek Kendall Varitek Kurt Vonnegut Retirement Speech

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