Jason Varitek has officially announced his retirement, bringing to an end a beloved 15-year career with the Boston Red Sox.
Varitek made the announcement on Thursday night at the team's spring training facility in Fort Myers, Fla. Many of his teammates, his parents, Red Sox ownership and his wife and three daughters all attended.
Varitek says he grappled with the decision for a long time. The Red Sox offered the 39-year-old a chance to come to camp on a minor-league contract, but he declined. He says ''the hardest thing to do is walk away from your teammates.''
The captain helped lead the Red Sox to two World Series titles. He caught a record four no-hitters and played in three All-Star games.