BOSTON (CBS) — It is the end of an era for the Boston Red Sox.
Longtime catcher and captain Jason Varitek will retire on Thursday, and MLB source has confirmed to WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche.
The news was first reported by Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe.
The news is not surprising, considering the Red Sox have Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kelly Shoppach and Ryan Lavarnway under contract this season, but it is nevertheless significant. Varitek made his Red Sox debut as a 25-year-old in 1997, eventually playing 1,546 games, all in a Red Sox uniform.
Captain of the team since 2005, Varitek will finish his career with 1,307 hits, 193 home runs and 757 RBIs. He batted .221 last season, playing in a combined 107 games in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He is a three-time All-Star and one-time Gold Glove Award winner. He also caught four no-hitters, an MLB-record.
From 2002-07, Varitek hit .269 with an .808 OPS and averaged 17 homers and 69 RBIs per season.
Varitek’s retirement will be the second for the Red Sox this spring, with Tim Wakefield ending his 19-year career earlier this month.
“I could not be more proud of my husband!” tweeted Varitek’s wife, Catherine Varitek, on Monday afternoon. “What a truly remarkable 14 years with the Boston Red Sox. You are a true Champion!”