What was your welcome-to-the big-leagues moment? My first at bat, pinch-hitting in Detroit in 1997. I didn't get a chance to warm up. Ran in from the pen, grabbed a bat, took one practice swing and was up. The pitcher was Kevin Jarvis. I got a hit. But it happened way too fast.

Your most embarrassing moment? Those come quite often, so it's hard to pick just one. But I once spent a solid five minutes trying to get a [cast-iron] donut off a bat while I was in the on-deck circle at Fenway Park.

If I weren't in the major leagues, I'd be ... probably coaching.

What's the one thing about being a big league player that people don't know? We're normal people. If you were my neighbor, I'd loan you my square shovel.

What's your most treasured possession? My World Series ring. I wear it more on the road in case I run into friends and family who haven't seen it. In Boston you try not to bring attention to yourself.

Last Week

Varitek blocked the plate to save a run, then bunted for a hit and scored the game-winner in a 6--5 win over Pittsburgh on Friday.

This Week

Sox go to Philadelphia, then host Cleveland, against whom Varitek has a .288 batting average.

COLOR PHOTOROBERT BECK (VARITEK HEAD SHOT) COLOR PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (VARITEK RUNNING)