It's a slow day for Red Sox news.....
With the countdown to Pitchers & Catchers reporting down to only two weeks, I thought it was appropriate to talk about my hometown fav, Tek.
While most of us have referred to Trot Nixon as the original Dirt Dog, for his grungy uniform and hard-playing attitude, but it was actually Jason Varitek who coined the Term. The first edition of the 2004 Red Sox Magazine featured an article written by Gary Brown (excerpt below):
In the western Massachusetts town of Agawam, there’s a sandlot baseball team with an unlikely name: The Sacred Heart Dirt Dogs.
The team adopted its nickname after being inspired by a story in which Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek was quoted as saying, “We’re just a bunch of dirt dogs, working hard and finding ways to win ball games.” No question about it, the “dirt dog” image speaks to the true-grit style of this Red Sox ball club. Varitek could be the poster boy for that image. So could right fielder Trot Nixon, truly a blue-color worker on the baseball field. They certainly stand as ideal role models for the kids in Agawam, and everywhere else.
It has been said of both that they play baseball with a “football mentality”. That’s a tribute to their toughness and their willingness to go all-out all the time. They are tireless workers, both in pre-game preparation, and on the field.
When you’re a dirt dog, you eschew possible bodily harm to get the job done. Think about Varitek, an immovable object when he blocks the plate against fast-moving baserunners determined to knock the ball out of his grasp. Think about Nixon, diving to make plays, even though those dives sometimes hurtle him close to Fenway’s low railing along the right-field line.
The most dangerous dive in recent years was performed by Varitek, when his head-first slide for a catch of a foul ball damaged his right elbow and put him out for the season in June of 2001. Would he go for that kind of play again?
“Absolutely”, he said.
I don't remember exactly when I decided Tek was my "favorite" Sox player, but I know I chose him because of his work ethic (reminiscent of Cal Ripken), his intensity and I'm not going to lie...some of his "physical" attributes!
On Christmas Eve 2004 RSN received presents a little early when the Red Sox held a press conference naming Jason Varitek as the Red Sox Captain.
Anyway, I'm always excited when I find news articles related to, or interviews done by Tek. You can my joy in finding the Jason Varitek Unofficial Fan site!
The site is maintained very well and offers articles, photos, stats, a biography and a lot more! I just emailed Erin, the webmaster, some of my personal pictures of Tek. I hope to see them up there soon!
I urge all of you to take a look at the site and contribute any Tek info/pics you may have!!
Also, let me know if there are other great fan sites out there, maybe I'll profile it in an upcoming post.