The value that Varitek provided to the Red Sox can’t be found by looking at the numbers, which unfortunately is why we won’t likely see him on many Hall of Fame ballots.
Varitek hit a modest .256 with a .776 OPS and 193 home runs over a 15-year career spent entirely in Boston. Those are decent numbers for a catcher, but hardly enough to consider him among the all-time greats.
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The three-time All-star had a few seasons where he was among the best at his position at the plate, but most of what he brought to this team came behind the dish.
Varitek’s value transcended the numbers. He received the rare honor of being named captain of the Red Sox because of his leadership qualities. Most defensive metrics rate him as slightly below average as a catcher, but his rapport with his pitching staff was unmatched, giving him a well deserved reputation as one of the best game-calling backstops of his time.
He has caught a record four no-hitters and was the primary battery mate to Pedro Martinez during his Cy Young seasons in 1999 and 2000. Varitek was also the starting catcher for the World Series Champion Red Sox in 2004 and 2007.
Varitek was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2016, but will be a long shot to make it to Cooperstown.