Whenever Blake Swihart bumps into Jason Varitek, he knows to have his mental notebook ready.
He was only 19 years old when the Red Sox drafted him 26th overall in 2011, and for all the praise he received coming out of Cleveland High School in New Mexico — not to mention the $2.5 million signing bonus he was given, the largest ever under former general manager Theo Epstein — he had played catcher for only one season.
With 15 years, 1,488 games, and 12,166 innings behind the plate, Varitek’s baseball knowledge nearly spanned Swihart’s lifetime.
So when Varitek was named special assistant to current general manager Ben Cherington, Swihart knew he would have an encyclopedia at his fingertips. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.