Red Sox’s Connor Wong Praises Jason Varitek For His Mentorship

'He's like a dad to us, really'


May 4, 2023

Connor Wong has embraced a more consistent role in his third year with the Boston Red Sox, and a franchise icon has helped guide the catcher throughout his career.

Wong, who turns 27 on May 19, had his first multi-home run game of his Major League Baseball career Tuesday. The offensive output highlighted how much he has improved his game since being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Mookie Betts trade in 2020.

The catcher has built a reputation for his defensive skills, but he has lived up to the No. 1 role that was expected of him in the offseason.

Jason Varitek, Boston’s game planning coordinator and catching coach, has worked closely with Wong and the chance to gain insight from a two-time World Series champion has not been lost.

“It’s something new everyday,” Wong told NESN’s Tom Caron on the “TC & Company Podcast.” “He’s always got advice. He’s there for us everyday. He wants the best for us. We couldn’t ask for a better mentor and coach, just extremely lucky to have him around.”

Caron revealed a Red Sox official told him Varitek quickly took Wong under his wing — a significant act from the former backstop. It was a gesture Wong was not aware of.

“Just really grateful he wants to help me out, learn from him, and do my best and try to make him proud,” Wong said.

On Varitek having a large presence, Wong added: “He definitely does. He’s got an intimidating presence. He’s a teddy bear at heart. He’s like a dad to us, really. I feel like we can go to him for anything, baseball or personal stuff. He’s always there for us, and we’re really grateful for him.”

Wong isn’t the first player to praise Varitek for his role as a coach, and he likely won’t be the last as the Red Sox icon has proven to be one of vital members of Alex Cora’s staff.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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