Garciaparra in 2010
July 23, 1973 |
|August 31, 1996, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 4, 2009, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Runs batted in||936|
|Career highlights and awards|
Anthony Nomar Garciaparra (/ /; 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, who is of Mexican-American descent, was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 5th round of the 1991 draft, but did not sign. Garciaparra attended St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, California.
Garciaparra 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. In 1993, he won a Cape Cod Baseball League championship with the Orleans Firebirds.
Major League Baseball career
Boston Red Sox (1994–2004)
Garciaparra was a first round pick of the Red Sox in 1994 following a successful career at Georgia Tech. He played in the Red Sox minor league system for three years (1994 – Sarasota, 1995 – Trenton, 1996 – Pawtucket).
He made his Major League debut on August 31, 1996, as a defensive replacement against Oakland. His first Major League hit was a home run off Oakland pitcher John Wasdin on September 1. 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.
At the time, Boston's starting shortstop was John Valentin, who finished ninth in MVP voting in 1995. By late 1996, Nomar won the job. Garciaparra's talent was enough to displace Valentin, who was moved to second base. Garciaparra batted .241 with 4 home runs, 16 RBI, and 5 stolen bases in his initial stint with the club near the end of 1996. As a rookie in 1997, 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. His 30-game hitting streak set an A.L. rookie record. He was named Rookie of the Year in a unanimous vote, competed in the Home Run Derby, and finished eighth in MVP voting. 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).
He finished with 35 home runs and 122 RBI in 1998, and placed as the runner-up for AL MVP. Garciaparra then led the American League in batting average for the next two years, hitting .357 in 1999 and .372 in 2000, finishing in the top ten in MVP voting both years. He is one of the few right-handed batters to win consecutive batting titles, and the first since Joe DiMaggio. His .372 average is the highest batting average by a right hander in the post-war era. He hit safely and scored a run in the first five games of his post-season career (1998–99), and is joined by Ian Kinsler (2010) as the only other player to start his post-season career in that manner.
In February 2001, Garciaparra appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, with the headline "A Cut Above... baseball's toughest out". The week after the issue hit newsstands, Garciaparra suffered a wrist injury that would ruin his season and alter the trajectory of his career. He recovered by the start of the 2002 season and drove in 120 runs while hitting a league-leading 56 doubles. However, he had a difficult time playing as strongly defensively as before, and his batting average dipped substantially, though it was still an excellent .310.
End of Boston tenure
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 precipitously from his pre-2001 levels. Still, Garciaparra recovered from an injury-filled 2001 season to bat .310 with 24 home runs. Still considered one of the best shortstops in baseball, he hoped to receive salaries similar to peers Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter.
In 2003, Garciaparra had a productive season in which he was second in the majors in triples, fifth in the AL in hits, and second in the AL in runs scored, though a September slump caused his batting average to dip to .301. He followed that with a poor post-season, with just one RBI along with ten strikeouts in twelve games against the Oakland Athletics and rival Yankees, who eliminated the Red Sox in a seven-game series.
Meanwhile, new stars and cult heroes, led by David Ortiz and 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.
After the 2003 season, Red Sox management explored trading Manny Ramírez to the Texas Rangers for shortstop Alex Rodriguez. However, the MLB Players' Union objected to Rodriguez's willingness to sacrifice a huge amount of his $250 million contract to facilitate a deal to Boston, and the New York Yankees then struck a deal with Texas to bring A-Rod (who gave up $14 million with union approval) to their team. The Red Sox then had covert trade talks involving Nomar with the Chicago White Sox, but the subsequent agreement to trade Garciaparra and other for a package centered around Magglio Ordóñez quickly became public. Garciaparra thus returned to Boston for the start of the 2004 season in the final year of a contract signed in 1997, and it quickly became clear that he was displeased with the team and would not return to Boston after the season. After Boston was beaten soundly by the Yankees in a July series in New York, Boston decided to trade away Garciaparra.
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 Orlando Cabrera from the Montreal Expos and 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. A few days later, they switched numbers. 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. Curt Schilling noted that if not for Nomar, the Sox might not have been in a position to win at all.
In the 2005 season, a torn left groin forced him onto the disabled list for more than three months. Garciaparra resumed play on August 5, 2005. Because Cubs regular third baseman Aramis Ramírez was on the disabled list for the last few weeks of the 2005 season, he volunteered to temporarily play third base, and Cub skipper Dusty Baker agreed. Aside from his first game in the Majors, in which he played second base, he had played shortstop in all of his other Major League games up to that point in his career.
Los Angeles Dodgers
While facing the New York Mets on June 6, 2006, 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.
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 short. Healthy for the first extended period of time since 2003, he regained his offensive stroke, evidenced by a .370 batting average at one point, and by his remaining constantly productive. 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, carrying a 21-game hitting streak into the break. The .362 average he held at the 2006 All-Star break was the second highest by a Dodger since they moved into Dodger Stadium in 1962 with the only higher mark being held by Mike Piazza.
He adjusted well to playing first base, having committed only 1 error through 588.2 innings played, and had a .998 fielding percentage. He also was elected to the 2006 NL All-Star Team as the National League All-Star Final Vote winner, receiving about six million votes. It was his sixth trip All-Star Game appearance, and his first as a first baseman and as a Dodger. His .358 batting average steadily declined to just over .300 by the end of the season. Despite Garciaparra's late season slump and injuries, 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, when 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 home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to win the game 11–10. 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, helping the Dodgers to make the playoffs.
On October 7, Garciaparra was named the National League's Comeback Player of the Year for 2006. He received 72,054 votes.
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.
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 DL. 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. He returned July, 4th, 2008 playing shortstop for the first time since 2005.
Garciaparra was placed on the DL on August 1, 2008 to make room for Manny Ramirez, who had been acquired in a trade. He had sprained his knee in a contest against the Washington Nationals on a play in which Loney threw the ball into the dirt, forcing Garciaparra, who was covering third base, to go to his knees to save the ball, allowing Lastings Milledge to slide into him spikes first.
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 then 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.
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. 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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- List of Major League Baseball hitters with two grand slams in one game
- List of Major League Baseball career home run leaders
- List of Major League Baseball batting champions
- List of Major League Baseball doubles records
- List of Major League Baseball annual doubles leaders
- List of Major League Baseball annual triples leaders
- List of Major League Baseball single-game hits leaders
- Martin Miller (September 30, 2006). "Batter Up! Not So Fast ...". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
- Blum, Ronald (November 4, 1997). "GARCIAPARRA NO SURPRISE AS AL'S TOP ROOKIE". Rocky Mountain News. Associated Press. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
- "Braves Romp and Halt Garciaparra's Streak". The New York Times. August 31, 1997. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
- Caplan, Jeff (October 12, 2010). "As others slump, Ian Kinsler rakes". ESPN. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
- "Notes: Nomar moving to third base – Dodgers make room for rookie Loney at first". MLB.com. Retrieved August 20, 2007.
- "Nomar headed back to DL". MLB.com. Retrieved April 26, 2008.
- A's announced Nomar, Cabrera signings Garciaparra on one-year contracts
- Gordon Edes. "Garciaparra set to retire from baseball".
- Ian Browne (May 5, 2010). "Nomar relishes his night at Fenway Park". MLB.com. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
- Dilbeck, Steve (December 2, 2013). "Nomar Garciaparra joins Dodgers broadcasting crew". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
- Browne, Ian (February 5, 2014). "Red Sox to induct superstar 2014 Hall of Fame class". MLB.com. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
- Michele Stueven (March 28, 2007). "Soccer Star Mia Hamm Welcomes Twin Girls". People.com. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
- "Nomar rescues 2 women in Boston Harbor". MSNBC.com. Retrieved August 20, 2007.
- . 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
- Biography of Nomar Garciaparra, Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved on August 2, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nomar Garciaparra.|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Nomar Garciaparra at the Internet Movie Database
- Page at Baseball Library
- NNDB Profile
|Awards and achievements|
|Baseball America Rookie of the Year
|Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year
|Players Choice AL Most Outstanding Rookie
|Baseball Prospectus Internet Baseball AL Rookie of the Year
|American League Player of the Month