He was a great player without question. A very good defensive shortstop who hit for power, Nomar wasn’t the prototypical player at shortstop. Hitting shortstops like Nomar usually have a tougher time proving their worth. Baseball historians usually see a shortstop with power as a lesser defensive player than his contemporaries. Of his generation, Nomar was no better than the 3rd best defensive SS out there. Omar Vizquel and Derek Jeter ranking but was there any one else?
Thanks for the memories Nomar.
Longtime Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra retired from baseball on Wednesday morning, signing a one-day contract with the Red Sox in order to retire as a member of the team.
“I’ve always had a recurring dream, to be able to retire in a Red Sox uniform,” Garciaparra said at a press conference at City of Palms Park. “Thanks to [owners] Mr. [John] Henry, Mr. [Tom] Werner, Mr. [Larry] Lucchino and [general manager] Theo [Epstein], today I get to fulfill that dream and retire as a Red Sox.
“Earlier today, I did sign a minor league contract to be a part of the organization once again. I was getting choked up then, and I’m getting choked up now. I’ve got the chills.
“But to be able to have that dream come true, I really just can’t put into words because of what this organization has always meant to me, meant to my family, the fans. I always tell people Red Sox Nation is bigger than any nation out there, and to be able to tell people that I came back home to be back to Red Sox Nation is truly a thrill.”
Garciaparra will join ESPN as a baseball analyst. He will be seen primarily on “Baseball Tonight” but will also serve as an occasional game analyst.
The 36-year-old Garciaparra spent the first nine seasons of his 14-year career in Boston, where he developed into a fan favorite, a perennial All-Star and the best shortstop in team history. He won the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 1997 and won batting titles in back-to-back seasons in 1999 and 2000. His career average with the Red Sox stands at .323, with 178 homers and 690 RBIs.
He finished his career with 229 home runs, 936 RBIs and a .313 batting average in 14 seasons.
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