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Praise for Jason Varitek

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 1, 2012 07:44 PM

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The Red Sox gathered up some tributes to Jason Varitek. Here are the best of them:

Tim Wakefield: "Tek epitomizes what a true professional should be. He's been a great teammate, but more importantly he's been a better friend. The way he prepared and led the Boston Red Sox over the last 15 years has been an inspiration to all who have watched. Although his leadership will be missed, his legacy in Red Sox history will be forged forever. It has been a true honor to have played with him for this long and I wish him nothing but the best as he starts a new chapter in his life. Congratulations Tek on an unbelievable career. I'm glad we've been able to share a lot of great memories together."

Nomar Garciaparra: "Ever since I've known him, dating back to being his teammate in college, he has been a tireless worker. His preparation and endless work ethic has made him a true champion. Thanks Tek for all you have taught me."

Trot Nixon: "It's tough to see Tek go. He was a class act in the clubhouse, a leader on that team. He epitomizes what a captain is all about. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to play with him, I never saw someone worked harder. We all loved him, he was a quiet leader, but when something needed to be said he said it."

Curt Schilling: "In my 23 years of professional baseball I never played with or against a more selfless and prepared player than Jason Varitek. The ultimate team player, never hesitating to forgo personal success for the greater good, I'm proud to call him a friend and former teammate. I wish him God's blessing and much happiness in wherever life takes him from here, he's certainly earned it."

Johnny Damon: "He's a true professional and was always the most prepared. He taught me how to be a leader and showed me how to be a champion. He should be a Red Sox Hall of Famer and it was a honor and a pleasure to have been his teammate and a huge fan of his since our high school days in Central Florida. I wish him all the best in the future."

Mike Lowell: "Tek was hands down one of the best teammates I ever had. I have never come across someone who would prepare for the game more thoroughly than him. His dedication to his craft, and work ethic, were always qualities that I admired, and he was a true captain in every sense of the word. I wish him nothing but the best."

Carl Yastrzemski: "Congratulations to Jason Varitek on an outstanding career. As a former captain of the Red Sox, I can appreciate the way he approached the game. His leadership set a tone example for his teammates and the Red Sox organization."

Jimy Williams: "I think he was born to be a catcher. I was with him when he was a rookie, I remember seeing his first Major League hit. To me, he was an over-achiever, but had a great work ethic and leadership qualities. He was always goal oriented in achieving the best. He is an outstanding person and outstanding teammate. Definitely the type of player to win championships with. Bottom line he's a baseball player."

Terry Francona: "Tek was the captain seven out of my eight years with the Red Sox. The 'C' on his chest was just a formality, he was the leader of the team with or without it. I could say a lot of things about Tek, but the most important thing was he kept everyone going in the right direction."

Jorge Posada: "Jason was one of those players that made the rivalry between our two teams so special. He was the type of competitor that brought out the best in everyone who was on the field with him, whether you were playing with him or against him. He should be very proud of the way he represented the Red Sox organization throughout the years. He played the game with passion and dignity, and regardless of the color of his uniform I will always have a great deal of respect for the way he went about his business, day after day, and year after year."

Derek Jeter: "I've always admired the way Jason played the game, and I appreciated the opportunity I had to get to know him throughout the years. He was a big part of the reason they had so much success as a team. Jason had a career that should be celebrated and I'm happy for him."

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