Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek recently became the 106th catcher in major-league history to catch at least 1,000 games. Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk leads all catchers with 2,226. But last month, Varitek passed Fisk and established a new Red Sox record for games caught at 991.
In his years with the Red Sox, Fisk played in a total of 1078 games, including 990 at catcher, seven in the outfield, three at first base, and three at third base. The much-heralded catcher was in a Red Sox uniform from 1969-1980. However, in his first two years with the Sox, 1969 and 1971, Fisk played in a total of just 16 games. So in reality, Fisk played just nine years in Boston.
Similarly, 34-year-old Jason Varitek is playing in his ninth season with the Red Sox. In that time, he's played in a total of 1050 games.
The question is, how does Varitek stack up against the legend, Fisk?
A look at Fisk's numbers with the Red Sox:
3860 At Bats
162 Home Runs
1856 Total Bases
A look at Varitek's numbers with the Red Sox:
3482 At Bats
130 Home Runs
1575 Total Bases
The numbers for the two players are quite comparable. Fisk, in 378 more at bats than Varitek, has 158 more hits. Varitek, however, has the higher average, slugging percentage, and more walks. But in all other other offensive categories, Fisk has the edge.
After he returns from the DL, Varitek will move closer to Fisk in games played and will have the rest of the season to add to his stats, allowing a truer comparison to be made. But even at that point, Fisk will hold a considerable edge in hits, runs, home runs, and total bases.
The two are close, but based upon the facts; advantage, Fisk.
Copyright © 2006 Sean M. Kennedy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the author's consent.