Longtime Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek spent nine seasons alongside recently inducted Hall of Famer David Ortiz, and has a clear admiration for the all-time slugger.
When Varitek was asked to summarize Big Papi’s career, he had a lot to say, emphasizing the points the Red Sox faithful know and love about Ortiz.
“Clutch,” Varitek told NESN’s Tom Caron on the “TC & Company Podcast” on Thursday. “The clutchest hitter I’ve ever seen. (And I’ve) been around this game. (He had an) Innate ability to come up with a hit whether it was a homer, base hit, something over and over and over and over. I was joking around saying ‘Why didn’t they just not pitch to him and look who’s on deck.’ And a lot of times I was on deck. I was like ‘Why?’
“But clutch comes first. You add that with a big smile, big presence, big man and we have our Big Papi.”
The former captain of the Red Sox also discussed Ortiz’s rise from pinch hitter to the No. 3 hitter in the order and how he became a leader later in his career.