Nomar Garciaparra

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Nomar Garciaparra
Nomar Garciaparra IMG 9542 (4308826992).jpg
Garciaparra in 2010
Shortstop
Born: (1973-07-23) July 23, 1973 (age 43)
Whittier, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 31, 1996, for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 2009, for the Oakland Athletics
MLB statistics
Batting average .313
Home runs 229
Runs batted in 936
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Anthony Nomar Garciaparra (/ˈnmɑːr ɡɑːrˌsəˈpɑːrə/; born July 23, 1973) is a former American Major League Baseball player and current SportsNet LA analyst. After playing parts of nine seasons as an All-Star shortstop for the Boston Red Sox, he played third base and first base for the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Oakland Athletics. He is one of 13 players in Major League history to hit two grand slams during a single game, and the only player to achieve the feat at his home stadium.

Garciaparra is a six-time All-Star (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006), and was the AL Rookie of the Year and AL Silver Slugger Award winner at shortstop in 1997. In 2001, he suffered a wrist injury, the first in a series of significant injuries that plagued the remainder of his career. Known for his ability to hit for average, Garciaparra is lifetime .313 hitter. He had the highest single-season batting average by a right handed batter in the post-war era, batting .372 in 2000, and was the first right handed batter to win the AL Batting Title in consecutive seasons since Joe DiMaggio, when he accomplished the feat in 1999 and 2000.

Early years[edit]

Garciaparra, who is of Mexican-American descent, was born in Whittier, California and attended St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, California. His father Ramon is often cited as a big help in his son's development as an athlete. When Nomar was a young boy, his father stressed the importance of not striking out, offering him 25 cents for each hit in tee ball, and fining him 50 cents for every strikeout.[1] When Nomar was 13, Ramon once put him in a batting cage against a college pitcher who could throw 90 MPH. Nomar's father encouraged him, and, after missing the first pitch, Nomar proceeded to hit solid line drives on the next two pitches.[1]

Nomar was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 5th round of the 1991 draft, but did not sign. Instead, he attended Georgia Tech, where he helped the Yellow Jackets reach the College World Series title game in 1994 (they would lose to Oklahoma). Future Boston teammate Jason Varitek was also a member of that team. He was an Atlantic Coast Conference All-Star and a first team All-American twice in 1993–94. He batted .427 in his final season at Georgia Tech. In 1993, he won a Cape Cod Baseball League championship with the Orleans Firebirds.

Professional career[edit]

Minor Leagues[edit]

Following his successful career at Georgia Tech, Garciaparra was a first round draft pick of the Red Sox in 1994, and entered the Red Sox farm system. He began his professional career in Class A Advanced, as a member of the Sarasota Red Sox following his NCAA season. Since the season was already well underway by the point Garciaparra joined the team, he only appeared in 28 games, however, he batted .295 and hit his first professional home run, making for a successful debut at age 20, especially considering he had bypassed Rookie League, Short Season A ball, and Class A by jumping straight into Class A Advanced. He also walked more than he struck out, whiffing only 6 times in 105 at bats.

In 1995, Garciaparra moved up to join the Double-A Trenton Thunder. In 125 games, he batted .267 with 8 home runs and again walked more than he struck out. He also showcased his speed, stealing 35 bases, and continued gathering experience at shortstop. Nomar's body felt worn down and tired at the end of that season, by his own admission. He had played the season at a low weight, by most standards, of just 155 pounds. But after the 1995 season, rather than go home, Garciaparra embarked on an ambitious offseason training reigmen to add 15 pounds of muscle.[1] In 1996, he found himself at the highest level of the minors playing for the Pawtucket Red Sox in Triple-A, though he did make a brief appearance (5 games) in Rookie ball for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox in a rehab appearance. In Triple-A and with the added muscle, Garciaparra really came into his own, batting .343 with 16 home runs and 46 RBI in just 43 games, and earning a late season call up to the Major Leagues.

Boston Red Sox (1996–2004)[edit]

1996-1997[edit]

At the time, Boston's starting shortstop was John Valentin, who finished ninth in MVP voting in 1995. But by late 1996, it was looking more and more inevitable that Nomar was the shortstop of the future. Garciaparra's talent was enough to displace Valentin, who was moved to second base. Garciaparra made his Major League debut on August 31, 1996, as a defensive replacement against Oakland, going 0-for-1. His first Major League hit was a home run off Oakland pitcher John Wasdin on September 1, a game in which Garciaparra recorded three hits. Garciaparra batted .241 with 4 home runs, 16 RBI, and 5 stolen bases in his initial stint with the club at the end of 1996.

When he returned in 1997, Garciaparra set the league on fire in his rookie season. He hit 30 home runs among his 209 base hits (a Red Sox rookie record), and drove in 98 runs, setting a new MLB record for RBIs by a leadoff hitter and most homers by a rookie shortstop.[2] He also batted .306, and his 30-game hitting streak set an A.L. rookie record.[3] Garciaparra also stole 22 bases, and his 11 triples led the league. He was named Rookie of the Year in a unanimous vote, competed in the Home Run Derby as well as his first MLB All-Star Game, finished eighth in MVP voting, and captured the Silver Slugger Award for AL Shortstop. He also won the immediate admiration of Red Sox fans, who referred to him in Boston accents as "NO-mah!". His popularity in New England was reflected in the Saturday Night Live "The Boston Teens" sketches, where Jimmy Fallon's character Pat Sullivan always wore a Garciaparra T-shirt and would repeatedly reference his admiration for him. Garciaparra even appeared in one of the sketches, where he was introduced as the boyfriend of Sully's sister (played by guest host Kate Hudson).

1998-2000[edit]

In the spring of 1998, Garciaparra and the Red Sox announced agreement on a 5-year contract worth $23.25 million. The deal also included two team options (for 2003 and 2004) that, if exercised, would boost the deal to $44.25 million. At the time it was unprecedented - signing a player to a long term contract who had just completed his rookie season.[4] Once the season started, Garciaparra moved down in the batting order to more of a run producing role, typically batting third or cleanup. This enabled him to boost his power stats even more. He finished with 35 home runs and 122 RBI in 1998, and placed as the runner-up for AL MVP. His batting average of .323 was good for 6th in the AL among qualifiers. Both he and teammate Pedro Martinez were instrumental in leading the Red Sox to the postseason. Though the team lost to the Cleveland Indians in the 1998 American League Division Series, Garciaparra had an outstanding postseason debut in the series, batting .333 with 3 homers and 11 RBI in the 4 game loss. He hit a memorable 3-run home run in the 5th inning of Game 1, the only game in the series won by the Red Sox.

Garciaparra then continued to come into his own in 1999, winning the batting title by hitting .357 (including .400 against left-handed pitchers). He reached the century mark in RBI once again, with 27 home runs and 104 batted in. He only struck out 39 times in 595 plate appearances, the third lowest whiff rate in Major League Baseball. His numbers might have been even better had he not missed time throughout the season, as he only appeared in 135 games. On May 10, he homered 3 times and drove in 10 RBI in a game against the Seattle Mariners, including two grand slams. He was named an MLB All-Star in 1999, earning the right to start at shortstop and bat second for the game which took place in front of his hometown fans at Boston's Fenway Park. He again led the Red Sox to the postseason, where they defeated the Indians in 5 games in the 1999 American League Division Series, and Nomar was again a key cog despite battling injury as he hit .417 in the 4 games he was able to appear in. Garciaparra became the first player in MLB history to hit safely and score a run in the first five games of his post-season career (1998–99), a feat completed in Game 1 of the 1999 ALDS. He is since joined by Ian Kinsler (2010) as the only other player to start his post-season career in that manner.[5] Against the New York Yankees in the 1999 American League Championship Series, Garciaparra was again at his finest, hitting .400 with 2 home runs, but the team lost in 5 games. After the season, he finished 7th in MVP voting.

2000 was a year of transition for the Red Sox, but little changed for Nomar. Despite getting off to a slow start that saw him batting only .182 after 6 games, he heated up almost immediately. By the end of June, his average was sitting at .396, prompting some to speculate he might be the first batter to hit .400 since Ted Williams. Indeed, Garciaparra did reach the mark, batting .403 as late in the season as July 20th. However, as the summer went on, Garciaparra's batting average slipped from those lofty heights, though he still finished at a remarkable .372 for the year. This is the highest batting average by a right-handed batter in the post-war era. He also easily won the American League batting title, making Nomar the first right-handed batter to win consecutive titles in either league since Joe DiMaggio. He also homered 21 times and drove in 96. The 61 walks he drew were a career best as Nomar, generally a free swinger, drew a career best 20 intentional walks, highlighting the respect that opposing pitchers and managers had for his abilities. Despite the strong individual play, however, the Red Sox missed the postseason in 2000. Despite the team's poor performance, Garciaparra still finished in the top ten in MVP voting (9th), showing that voters also respected his talent.

2001[edit]

In February 2001, Garciaparra appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, with the headline "A Cut Above... baseball's toughest out". Baseball fans looked forward to see if he might challenge the .400 mark, and Red Sox fans hoped he would lead them back to the postseason with new acquisition Manny Ramirez. However, the week after the issue hit newsstands, Garciaparra aggravated an old wrist injury[6] and had to start the season on the disabled list. He did not play in his first game during 2001 until July 29th, though he hit a memorable home run in his return in that game. However, by the end of August, the wrist was acting up yet again, and Garciaparra shut it down for the rest of the year. He only saw action in 21 games, batting .289 with 4 homers and 8 RBI during the shortened campaign. Many believe that not only did the wrist injury ruin his season, it altered the trajectory of his career. Before the 2001 season, Scott Boras ran a statistical study of Garciaparra for his own client (Alex Rodriguez) that predicted by age 40, Nomar would have hit 513 home runs, 3581 hits, and a .336 career batting average,[1] numbers that certainly would have been worthy of the Hall of Fame had they materialized.

2002-03[edit]

Garciaparra with the Red Sox in 2002

By the start of the 2002 season, Garciaparra had recovered from the injury, but was never again to approach the lofty batting averages that defined him in 1999-2000. He posted "only" a .310 mark in 2002, homering 24 times, and driving in in 120 runs. His 56 doubles led the league. On July 23 (his 29th birthday), he homered 3 times and drove in 8 runs in the first game of a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. On September 2, Garciaparra recorded his 1,000th hit in his 745th game, becoming the fastest Red Sox player to the milestone, in a game against the New York Yankees. Garciaparra was recognized by baseball in making his fourth MLB All-Star Game, and he finished 11th in AL MVP voting at the end of the season. Perhaps most importantly, Garciaparra played in 156 games, the highest single season total of his career. However, even with Nomar helping the team win 93 games during the season, the Red Sox did not qualify for the postseason, finishing 6 games out of the Wild Card behind the Anaheim Angels and 10.5 games behind the AL East leading rival New York Yankees.

However, things were not always quite so rosy behind the scenes. Before the 2002 season, a new ownership group purchased the Red Sox. The baseball operations staff, led by Theo Epstein, stressed on-base percentage on offense and strong defense, two areas where Garciaparra was about to decline from his pre-2001 levels. Meanwhile, still considered one of the best shortstops in baseball, Garciaparra hoped to receive salaries similar to peers Alex Rodriguez (10 years $252 million after the 2000 season) and Derek Jeter (10 years $189 million after the 2000 season). But because of the contract he had signed in March 1998 that paid him only $9 million in 2002, the Red Sox held two team options worth $11 million each for 2003 and 2004, and it was apparent they would exercise them. Garciaparra hoped to remain in Boston, but looked to sign a contract extension with an average annual salary closer to his peers, or to teammate Manny Ramirez (8 years $160 million after the 2000 season). Working against Garciaparra was his age - he was a year older than Jeter, and two years older than Rodriguez. Negotiations between Garciaparra's agent (Arn Tellem), and Red Sox brass went on during the offseason, but an agreement could not be reached. Though the sides agreed on 4 years $60 million, the sticking point was the $8 million signing bonus Garciaparra requested, which would be spread over the two $11 million option years from his old contract to essentially provide Nomar with a $15 million salary immediately and throughout the life of both contracts. Garciaparra entered the 2003 season without a new pact.[7]

In 2003, Garciaparra had another productive All-Star season. On April 20, he hit a walk-off home run to give the Red Sox a 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. He batted .319 over the season's first half, earning yet another All-Star selection, but a late season slump caused him to finish at only .301. His 28 home runs were the most he'd hit in a single season since 1998, and he drove in 105 runs. He appeared in 156 games again, tying his career high from the previous year. Also, his mobility in the field seemed to return somewhat. While, his defense remained solid, he stole 19 bases in 2003 (up from 5 in 2002). Garciaparra finished second in the majors in triples, fifth in the AL in hits, and second in the AL in runs scored. The Red Sox returned to MLB's postseason for the first time since 1999, largely due to a potent lineup that featured Garciaparra, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz. Additionally, new stars and cult heroes, led by Kevin Millar, began to emerge in Boston. Millar convinced almost all players on the roster other than Johnny Damon and Garciaparra (whose wedding with Mia Hamm followed the season) to shave their heads in an act of team unity, and the team slogan became "Cowboy Up" entering the postseason. But unfortunately, Garciaparra's September slump (he batted .170 during the month) followed him into the postseason. While he hit .300 in the 2003 American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics, he did not drive in a run. The Red Sox won the series in 5 games to face the rival Yankees in the ALCS, where Garciaparra fared even worse. In the tense 7 game series, Garciaparra batted only .241 with just 1 RBI and an uncharacteristic 8 strikeouts. However, he did record a memorable hit in Game 6, tripling and scoring on an error in the top of the 7th inning. At the time, Boston was down 6-4 and facing elimination, but the hit started a rally that saw the Red Sox come back and win 9-6 to force a fateful Game 7. However, the Red Sox lost the game and the series on Aaron Boone's infamous extra inning walk-off home run.

With Nomar's contract situation still not settled, Red Sox management explored trading Manny Ramírez to the Texas Rangers for shortstop Alex Rodriguez after the 2003 season. Simultaneously, the team had exploratory talks with the Chicago White Sox about trading Garciaparra for Magglio Ordóñez if the A-Rod deal went through. The Nomar talks had been intended to be covert but quickly leaked out, angering Garciaparra and his agent. In the end, the MLB Players Association objected to Rodriguez's willingness to sacrifice a huge amount of his $250 million contract to facilitate a deal to Boston, so both deals were shut down. And ironically, after Aaron Boone injured his knee playing offseason basketball, it was the rival Yankees who instead acquired Rodriguez (who gave up $14 million with union approval) to fill the void. Garciaparra thus returned to Boston for the start of the 2004 season in the final year of the old contract from March 1998, without an extension, and it quickly became clear that he was displeased with the team's handling of the situation. It was believed by Red Sox brass that Nomar would not return to Boston when his contract expired after the 2004 season.

2004[edit]

The 2004 season began with Garciaparra's future in Boston unresolved. Complicating matters was an Achilles' heel injury that kept Nomar out until June. When he returned, Garciaparra continued to hit well, batting .321 with 5 home runs and 21 RBI in 38 games. However, his defense saw a significant decline, primarily in his fielding range, which was believed to be due to the effects of his injury. General Manager Theo Epstein believed defense was the team's weak point, and felt he needed to improve it for Boston to have any shot at winning a World Series. Additionally, the nature of Garciaparra's injury required him to get frequent days off, which meant his bat was not even guaranteed to be in the lineup every day (and thus the weaker bats of the backup players would be during a pennant race). Finally, at the July 31, 2004 trading deadline, Boston decided to trade away Garciaparra.[8]

Garciaparra finished his Red Sox career with a .323 average, 178 home runs, and 690 RBI over parts of 9 seasons.

Chicago Cubs (2004-05)[edit]

2004-05[edit]

Garciaparra with the Cubs in 2005 spring training

On July 31, 2004 (the MLB trading deadline), Garciaparra was the key player involved in a four-team deal that sent him and Matt Murton to the wild card leading Chicago Cubs. The Red Sox received shortstop Orlando Cabrera from the Montreal Expos and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz from the Minnesota Twins. Nomar expressed his appreciation to Red Sox fans in a speech to media, and left for Chicago. At first, Garciaparra was assigned jersey number 8, because Cub catcher Michael Barrett wore number 5, but a few days later, they switched numbers. Garciaparra drove in runs in his first 3 games as a Cub. However, he continued to battle his Achilles' injury down the stretch, and in 43 games after the trade, he hit .297 with 4 home runs and 20 RBI in Chicago. Combined, his 2004 totals were a .308 average, 9 home runs, and 41 RBI. The Cubs led the wild card until mid-September, but finished the 2004 season with 89 wins and out of the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Red Sox finally overcame the Yankees en route to a World Series sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, after which Nomar's former teammates voted to give him a World Series ring and three-fourths of a playoff share ($167,715).[9] Curt Schilling noted that if not for Nomar, the Red Sox might not have been in a position to win at all, clearly referencing the role Nomar's ascension as a player had in drawing talent like Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, and even himself to Boston.

After the season, Garciaparra was unable to get the long term contract he had hoped for. His injury was the most significant reason why, as it was apparent he could still hit when healthy. So in the offseason, Garciaparra signed a 1-year deal worth $8.25 million to remain with the Cubs.[9] Once the 2005 season began, a torn left groin forced him onto the disabled list in late April for more than three months. At the time of the injury, Garciaparra was hitting just .157. Nomar resumed play on August 5, 2005 and almost immediately began raising his batting average. In late August, when Cubs regular third baseman Aramis Ramírez went on the disabled list for the remainder of the 2005 season, Garciaparra volunteered to play third base, and Cubs manager Dusty Baker agreed. Aside from his first game in the Majors, where he played second base, Nomar had played shortstop in all of his other Major League games up to that point in his career. Garciaparra finished 2005 with a .283 average, 9 homers, and 30 RBI, and again became a free agent.

Los Angeles Dodgers (2006-08)[edit]

2006[edit]

Garciaparra with the Dodgers in 2008

In 2006, Garciaparra returned to his hometown, signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers who were minutes from Garciaparra's childhood in Whittier. The contract was again a one-year deal that Garciaparra hoped would lead to a multi-year offer following a strong season. The contract was worth $6 million, with another $2.5 million in performance bonuses.[10] Also part of the lure of the Dodgers was that former Red Sox players Bill Mueller and Derek Lowe, and former manager Grady Little, were already with the team. Though he was able to retain his original jersey number (5), he moved to first base, as the Dodgers had also signed Rafael Furcal from the Atlanta Braves to step in for the recovering César Izturis at shortstop.

Healthy for the first extended period of time since 2003, Garciaparra regained his offensive stroke. On June 6, while facing the New York Mets Nomar hit a two-run home run on the first pitch he ever saw against former teammate and fellow Boston icon Pedro Martínez. Coincidentally, Derek Lowe was the starting pitcher for the Dodgers that day. Just days later, on June 9, Garciaparra's batting average stood at .370. On June 25, he hit his 200th career home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates. By the MLB All-Star Break, Nomar was tied with Pittsburgh's Freddy Sanchez for the lead among all MLB infielders and all NL batters with a .358 batting average, to go along with 11 home runs and 53 RBIs, and carrying a 21-game hitting streak into the break. It was the second highest batting average entering the All-Star Break by a Dodger since they moved into Dodger Stadium in 1962, with the only higher mark being held by Mike Piazza (.363 in 1996). Garciaparra was rewarded for his strong first half with his sixth All-Star selection. The selection came as the National League All-Star Final Vote winner, as he received about six million fan votes to earn the honor. It was his first All-Star appearance since 2003, and his first selection at any position other than shortstop.

Nomar adjusted well to playing first base, only committing 1 error through his first 588.2 innings played, and finishing with 4 for the entire season. However, his lofty batting average steadily declined to .303 by the end of the season as nagging injuries returned. Despite this, he prevailed in the clutch for the Dodgers during their playoff race with two game-winning home runs. The first capped off one of the most remarkable games of the season on September 18, as the Dodgers hit four consecutive home runs in the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres to tie the game. After the Padres scored a run in the tenth inning, Nomar hit a game-winning, two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to win the game 11–10.[11] Six days later on September 24, Garciaparra hit a game-winning grand slam against the Arizona Diamondbacks to give the Dodgers a 5–1 victory with one week left in the regular season. The Dodgers went on to win their last seven games of the regular season, qualifying for the postseason. For the season, Garciaparra batted .303 with 20 home runs and 93 RBI, and struck out only 30 times, in 122 games. On October 7, Garciaparra was named the National League's Comeback Player of the Year for 2006. He received 72,054 votes. Ultimately, the Dodgers were swept by the New York Mets in the 2006 NLDS. Garciaparra batted only .222 in the series, but did drive in 2 runs. On November 20, 2006, the Dodgers re-signed Garciaparra to a 2-year contract worth $18.5 million, keeping him with the team through the 2008 season.[10][12]

2007-08[edit]

Garciaparra got off to a strong start in 2007, batting .307 in April, but did not hit for power as he usually did, with only 1 home run during the first two and a half months of the season. On June 25, 2007, Garciaparra volunteered to move from first to third base in order to make room for rookie James Loney.[13] He missed time in August and September due to injury, but still appeared in 121 games. His numbers were down, however, as he batted .283 with just 7 home runs and 59 RBI.

During 2008 spring training Garciaparra suffered a microfracture on his hand after a hit-by-pitch. That forced him to start the 2008 MLB season on the Disabled List. Rookie Blake DeWitt played third base in the meantime. On April 16, he started his first game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, only to suffer a strained left calf muscle nine days later, resulting in another trip to the DL.[14] He returned July 4th, playing at shortstop for the first time since 2005 due to an injury to Rafael Furcal. On August 1, Garciaparra was placed on the DL to make room for Manny Ramirez, who had been acquired in a trade. Nomar had sprained his knee in a July 27 contest against the Washington Nationals after being slid into spikes first at third base as Garciaparra had attempted to field a throw and tag the runner, Lastings Milledge. He returned on August 12, and continued seeing time at shortstop through the end of the month. On August 13, he hit a walk-off home run against the Philadelphia Phillies, giving the Dodgers a 7-6 win. Garciaparra actually saw more time at shortstop during 2008 than any other position, to accommodate other players on the Dodgers. But by September, he was back to seeing time at first base and third base, and being used as a pinch hitter. Despite the return to the position he enjoyed the most success in his career, it was a difficult season for Nomar. He hit .264 for the year, with 8 home runs and 28 RBI, as he appeared in only 55 games. The Dodgers met the Phillies in the 2008 NLDS once the postseason started, and Garciaparra hit well, going 3-for-7 (.429) with 1 RBI in the series. However, he did not appear in Game 1, and subsequently did not play the entirety of any game in the series, as he was either used as a substitute, or was replaced as the game went on in Games 2-5. The Dodgers were defeated in the fifth game by the Phillies, who eventually moved on to win the 2008 World Series.

Oakland Athletics[edit]

2009[edit]

On March 6, 2009, Garciaparra signed a one-year deal with the Oakland Athletics.[15] With the acquisition of Matt Holliday from the Colorado Rockies in the off-season, Nomar was not granted his accustomed number 5, instead wearing number 1. Immediately after Holliday's trade to the St. Louis Cardinals, Eric Patterson was called up and given number 5. Garciaparra and Patterson subsequently switched numbers.

On July 6, 2009, Garciaparra returned to Fenway Park for the first time since being traded by the Red Sox in 2004. Before the game, he was met with tremendous support from the fans, press, and his former teammates. Before he stepped up to the plate for his first at bat, he received a lengthy standing ovation from the fans at Fenway, to which he tipped his cap and graciously clapped along with them. After grounding out, when passing the Red Sox dugout, he thanked his former team. In his second at bat, Garciaparra got the game's first RBI and received another lengthy applause. Garciaparra was also present with the Athletics to see the Red Sox retire Jim Rice's number. Rice was Garciaparra's hitting coach in the early part of his career in Boston. In his final season, Garciaparra batted .281 with 3 home runs and 16 RBI in 65 games with Oakland.

Retirement[edit]

On March 10, 2010, Garciaparra signed a one-day contract with the Boston Red Sox to enable him to retire as a member of the Red Sox. Garciaparra took a position at ESPN, contributing analysis for the program Baseball Tonight as well as select Wednesday Night Baseball telecasts.[16] He has also been one of the lead analysts on ESPN's coverage of the College World Series. In 2011, he contributed analysis for ESPN's coverage of the Little League World Series telecasts.

On May 5, 2010, the Red Sox hosted "Nomar Garciaparra Night", honoring Garciaparra before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He was given two official seats from Fenway by Johnny Pesky, one bearing Garciaparra's own number 5, and the other bearing Pesky's number 6.

Garciaparra threw out the first pitch on Nomar Day to his former teammate Jason Varitek with his signature off-balance sidearm throw.[17]

On December 2, 2013, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that Garciaparra would be part of their broadcast team beginning with the 2014 season. He served as a pre-and-post game analyst for the Dodgers' telecasts on SportsNet LA,[18] and also teamed with Rick Monday to call most of the team's road games on KLAC and the Dodgers Radio Network. However, a few months into the season he was pulled from the radio broadcasts and added to the Television crew, working with Charley Steiner and Orel Hershiser on road games.

In addition, as of 2015, the Los Angeles Dodgers also made Garciaparra an Alumni member of their Community Relations team.

On Wednesday, February 5, 2014 it was announced that Garciaparra would be inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, along with former pitchers Pedro Martínez and Roger Clemens and longtime radio announcer Joe Castiglione.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Garciaparra and wife Mia Hamm

On November 22, 2003, Garciaparra married Olympian and World Cup Champion soccer star Mia Hamm. The couple has twin girls, Grace Isabella and Ava Caroline, who were born on March 27, 2007, in Los Angeles. The couple also welcomed their first son named Garrett Anthony born in January 2012.[20] Hamm and Garciaparra originally met at a 1998 promotional event in Boston where Hamm defeated Garciaparra in a soccer shootout. Hamm, married at the time, later stated that she was impressed with Garciaparra's passion for the game, and the two kept in touch as friends. Sometime after Hamm's 2001 divorce, the two began dating.

Both Garciaparra and Mia Hamm were on Olympic teams in their respective sports. Garciaparra was on the 1992 Olympic baseball team, and Hamm was on the 1996, 2000, and 2004 women's Olympic soccer teams.

His father Ramon and brother Michael Garciaparra operate a baseball clinic in Southern California.

Garciaparra is the cousin of Arturo Javier Ledesma, a Mexican soccer player who currently plays for Correcaminos UAT in the Ascenso MX. His uncle is legendary Mexican soccer goalkeeper, Javier "Zully" Ledesma. His brother, Michael Garciaparra, was also a baseball player, last playing second base for the triple-A Round Rock Express.

Garciaparra is known for his idiosyncratic tics when batting. This habit includes an elaborate routine of batting glove adjustments and alternating toe taps on the ground prior to an ensuing pitch.[21]

On the Kate Hudson/Radiohead episode on season 26 of Saturday Night Live, Garciaparra cameoed in a "Boston Teens" sketch.

On October 7, 2005, Garciaparra and his uncle Victor Garciaparra were alerted to the screams of two women who had fallen into Boston Harbor outside his condominium. One of the women sustained injuries to her head after hitting the pier on her way in. Garciaparra quickly jumped into the harbor and saved both women, who were later taken to the hospital.[22]

In November, 2014, Garciaparra became a minority investor in Los Angeles F.C.[23]

As a boy, Nomar was nicknamed "No Nonsense Nomar" for his methodical and tireless preparation as an athlete.[1] Consistent with his hard work approach, Garciaparra tends to focus on his own swing, not on preparing for specific opposing pitchers, and prefers physical activity over video analysis.

Name[edit]

Garciaparra's given first name is Anthony, but he is known by his middle name, Nomar. The name Nomar comes from Garciaparra's father's name Ramon. Nomar is "Ramon" spelled backwards.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "400 Reasons: WHY does Boston's Nomar Garciaparra torture his body every off-season with a training regimen that is both cruel and unusual? BECAUSE he believes it will ultimately help him reach the hitter's holy grail". SI.com. Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  2. ^ Blum, Ronald (November 4, 1997). "GARCIAPARRA NO SURPRISE AS AL'S TOP ROOKIE". Rocky Mountain News. Associated Press. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Braves Romp and Halt Garciaparra's Streak". The New York Times. August 31, 1997. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Garciaparra Agrees to Big Contract". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. March 11, 1998. Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  5. ^ Caplan, Jeff (October 12, 2010). "As others slump, Ian Kinsler rakes". ESPN. Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  6. ^ Ulman, Howard (February 28, 2001). "Garciaparra sidelined by wrist injury". USA Today. Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  7. ^ Mnookin, Seth (June 7, 2012). ESPN http://www.espn.com/espn/page2/story?page=mnookin/060712. Retrieved November 11, 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Hohler, Bob (August 1, 2004). "Sox trade Nomar to Cubs at deadline". Boston Globe. Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Johnson, Chuck (February 27, 2005). "Garciaparra: This year, it's the Cubs' turn". USA Today. Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Henson, Steve (November 17, 2006). "Dodgers Close to Keeping Nomar". LA Times. Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  11. ^ http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=260918119
  12. ^ "Garciaparra Staying in L.A.". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. November 21, 2006. Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Notes: Nomar moving to third base – Dodgers make room for rookie Loney at first". MLB.com. Retrieved August 20, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Nomar headed back to DL". MLB.com. Retrieved April 26, 2008. 
  15. ^ A's announced Nomar, Cabrera signings Garciaparra on one-year contracts
  16. ^ Gordon Edes. "Garciaparra set to retire from baseball". 
  17. ^ Ian Browne (May 5, 2010). "Nomar relishes his night at Fenway Park". MLB.com. Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  18. ^ Dilbeck, Steve (December 2, 2013). "Nomar Garciaparra joins Dodgers broadcasting crew". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  19. ^ Browne, Ian (February 5, 2014). "Red Sox to induct superstar 2014 Hall of Fame class". MLB.com. Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  20. ^ Michele Stueven (March 28, 2007). "Soccer Star Mia Hamm Welcomes Twin Girls". People.com. Retrieved September 16, 2007. 
  21. ^ Martin Miller (September 30, 2006). "Batter Up! Not So Fast ...". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Nomar rescues 2 women in Boston Harbor". MSNBC.com. Retrieved August 20, 2007. 
  23. ^ . si.com http://www.si.com/soccer/planet-futbol/2014/11/07/henry-nguyen-tom-penn-mls-lafc-los-angeles-football-club.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ Biography of Nomar Garciaparra, Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved on August 2, 2013.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Derek Jeter
Baseball America Rookie of the Year
1997
Succeeded by
Kerry Wood
Preceded by
Derek Jeter
Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year
1997
Succeeded by
Ben Grieve
Preceded by
Derek Jeter
Players Choice AL Most Outstanding Rookie
1997
Succeeded by
Ben Grieve
Preceded by
Derek Jeter
Baseball Prospectus Internet Baseball AL Rookie of the Year
1997
Succeeded by
Ben Grieve
Preceded by
Manny Ramírez
American League Player of the Month
May, 1999
Succeeded by
Rafael Palmeiro