Nomar: A Retrospective

After throwing out the first pitch at Wednesday’s game against Tampa in Palm Springs Anthony Nomar Garciparra joined Joe Castiglione and Dave O’Brian in the radio broadcast booth as a guest for the 4th inning. Commenting on all the fans calling his name, Garciaparra said, “I got my ‘H’ back.” Nomah. The prodigal son returns.

Nomah was truly an iconic player during his time in Boston. His weird batter’s box ritual was copied in school yards all over New England by little leaguers and in the 1999 All Star Game in Fenway Park by Derek Jeter. He was a prince in Boston, a heir. When Ted Williams was introduced at that All Star Game, with the game’s best surrounding him, Teddy Ballgame wanted to talk to Nomar. “This is my guy”, he said. And he was ours too. He was supposed to bring us to the promise land, and in a way he did.

Garciaparra was famously traded to the Cubs one minute before the 2004 trade deadline. It was that trade that brought Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz to the roster, tighten up our defense, sent the ‘nation’ into a panic, and eventually won us the World Series.

Nomah was Nomar now. Battling injuries he never returned to the levels he achieved while with the Red Sox. He played with the Cubs until signing with the Dodgers in 2006 and played in Oakland last year. His return to Fenway was a highlight of the 2009 season, being showered with a near 10 minute ovation. What kind of welcome will Manny Ramirez, who won two rings while in Boston, get when the Dodgers come to the Fens this summer?

Signing Nomar to a one day minor league contract the Red Sox allowed him to get his ‘H’ back. While it is unlike he’ll see the halls of Cooperstown, where he once seemed so destined to be enshrined, (although Bob Ryan at the Globe makes a fair point that “the average 162-game Nomar Garciaparra season included a .313 batting average, 42 doubles, 105 runs, 106 runs batted in, and an .882 OPS. Very few middle infielders in the history of baseball will be able to make such a statement.”) we haven’t seen the end of this Garciaparra love-fest. Henry and Co. love to honor historic Red Sox players, expect a Fenway return as well.

Here’s your ‘H’ back Nomah. Welcome home.

One Response to “Nomar: A Retrospective”
  1. Queens Street Hooligan says:

    Very touching.

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