I meant to get to this earlier, but the "other" job got in the way. Silly All-Conference voting. Better late than never, I suppose...
Last night, Jon Lester, just 24-years old, threw a no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals. It seemingly completed his recovery from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and came just seven months after he won the fourth game of the World Series. By all accounts, a pretty amazing story. Still though, and to take nothing away from Lester, I'd like to highlight the guy behind (literally) Lester's game last night: Jason Varitek.
As Red Sox Monster points out, Jason Varitek has now caught four no-hitters, the most ever by a Major League catcher.
There have been 214 no-no's since 1900, and The Captain has been behind the plate for four of them (that's almost 2%). Conincidence? Or is Varitek just really good?
-- The catcher when Pedro Martinez one-hit the Yankees while striking out 17 in 1999? Jason Varitek.
-- The catcher when Pedro Martinez nearly threw a perfect game in 2000 against the brawlin' Tampa Bay Devil Rays? Jason Varitek -- and Varitek got a tackle in on a charging-the-mound Gerald Williams, too.
-- The catcher last season when Curt Schilling carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning in Oakland? Jason Varitek -- and when Schilling gave up a hit, it came after he shook El Capitan off.
As for that last nugget, don't think Schilling has let that slip his mind (from his blog, 38 Pitches):
It’s no coincidence that he’s now caught a record 4 no-hitters, trust me. I would BET, BIG MONEY, that I’d have been the 4th if I hadn’t shaken him off…..
And now, just because it's an excuse to run one of my favorite pictures ever:
Man oh Man... - 38 Pitches
With a little luck for Varitek, four could have been more - Red Sox Monster