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Born: April 11, 1972; Rochester, MI Height: 6'2" Weight: 230
Varitek doubled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on May 7 against the Royals. The Sox had trailed 6-2, but scored two in the eighth and three in the ninth to win, 7-6. Tek's walkoff double enabled Manny Ramirez to score all the way from first with the winning run.
On May 8, he stole two bases, the second time in his career he's accomplished that feat. He went on to steal a career-high ten bases in 2004, second-most on the team behind Johnny Damon's 19.
On the morning of July 24, things were not going well for the Sox. They had just lost a heartbreaker to the Yankees the night before, and the team had been playing without a spark for the last couple of months. So when it rained hard all morning, the team considered postponing the game to a future date. But Jason led a group of players into the manager's office, insisting that they wait out the rain and play the game. Then when Bronson Arroyo plunked Alex Rodriguez and A-Rod started to charge the mound, Varitek intercepted him, giving him a shove and igniting a bench-clearing brawl. The Sox ended up coming from behind to win the game in dramatic walkoff fashion, and players and fans alike point to this game as the one that unified the team and got them started on their late-season roll.
Tek hit .323 after the All-Star break, including a .449 average in August. That was the second-best August average in the American League. He had a 15-game hitting streak from August 17 to September 10, with eight doubles, three homers, eight RBI, and eleven runs scored over that span.
Varitek hit a clutch two-run homer off Bartolo Colon in Game 2 of the Division Series. It tied the game after the Sox had fallen behind 3-1. They would go on to win the game 8-3.
He homered off Tanyon Sturtze in the seventh inning of Game 1 of the ALCS, getting the Sox back in the game 8-5 after they had been down 8-0. He homered again off Javier Vazquez in Game 3.
Jason's biggest plate appearance of the ALCS wasn't a home run, or even a hit at all. In the eighth inning of Game 5, with the Sox down 4-3 and facing elimination, Mariano Rivera came in to try to close out the series. The Sox had runners at the corners and nobody out, and Tek hit a fly ball to center field, allowing Dave Roberts to tag and score the tying run.
Varitek had a two-out, two-run triple to the deepest part of Fenway's center field in Game 2 of the World Series. It gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead in a game they would go on to win 6-2.
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