February 28, 2012 / 5:53 AM / in 6 years

Red Sox catcher Varitek set to retire: reports

(Reuters) - Boston Red Sox catcher and captain Jason Varitek will bring an end to his illustrious career on Thursday, Major League Baseball reported on its website.

Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek walks back to the dugout at the end of the ninth inning of their MLB American League baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts September 21, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The 39-year-old has played his entire career with the Red Sox, where his grit and determination helped define the team and lead them to a pair of World Series titles.

A three-time American League All Star, Varitek will retire with a Red Sox record 1,488 appearances as catcher.

His expected announcement will come roughly a month after rival catcher Jorge Posada retired from the New York Yankees.

Varitek will hang up his mitt with a .256 career batting average, 193 home runs and 757 RBIs as a switch-hitter, but his value to Boston transcended his statistics.

Varitek’s wife Catherine congratulated her husband on his career via Twitter.

“I could not be more proud of my husband! What a truly remarkable 14 years with the Boston Red Sox. You are a true Champion,” she tweeted.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien

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