Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nomar Comes Home

Nomar Garciaparra is retiring from his love...the game of baseball. And he's doing it as a member of the Boston Red Sox. The Sox signed him to a one year $1100 a month contract, a contract that equals out to $37 dollars per day. He again was a member of the Boston Red Sox and yesterday, he retired as a member of "his" team. Sure, he left as an unhappy man. A wrist injury late in 1999 changed him forever but boy, his numbers from '97 until that injury were totally amazing. Even after being hit by a pitch that damaged his wrist forever, his batting average climbed to a league-leading .372. Lou Merloni remembers...

“I don’t know if they keep stats on hard outs,’’ Merloni wonders. “But the year he hit .372, he could easily have hit .400. He was doing nothing but getting hits or hitting hard outs.’’

One thing is certain. He loved the Boston Red Sox. He became frustrated when a series of injuries plagued him and he showed frustration with his team and the people who loved him. I want to remember him as the Nomar before the wrist injury. He was probably the most feared hitter in all of baseball. It seemed that every time he put the bat on the ball, he hit it on the nose, screaming smoke-producing line drives. Deep inside, he loved Boston and never wanted to leave. Back then, $60 million was a lot of money. It still is a huge bunch of change. Jason Varitek talks about Nomar's love for the team...

“I don’t want to speak for the man, but I know his heart has been here since he left,” Varitek said. “He’s a Red Sox. He always has been. We unfortunately know a bit of the business side of things. I don’t think any of us know the depth of what goes on behind closed doors. Players just know and understand a player’s heart.”

And here's Nomar as he sat between Larry and Theo at his retirement press conference in Boston...

“This is where the dream to play baseball in the big league started, here with the Red Sox,” Garciaparra said. “Once I got to play in front of all these fans, and the way this city and all these fans embraced me, I mean, I always just felt that connection for me. I always said I truly wanted this to be the last uniform I ever put on, and today I get to do that. That’s why it’s so important to me.”

That quote touched me deeply. I wish his agent had been on the ball and accepted the $60 million deal but sadly, that's not what happened. I will always remember the excitement and anticipation whenever Garciaparra strode to the plate. Just like Yaz. I always will remember...forever.

Click on this post's title for more on this story and as always, BE WELL. Thanks Nomar...you made us all SO very happy.

2 Comments:

At 3/11/2010 4:43 PM, Blogger Suldog said...

Very classy of the Sox to tender the contract, and very classy of Nomar to retire with such dignity. Well done, all around.

 
At 3/12/2010 4:40 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

You are exactly right. This came out of the blue for me but I was emotionally moved. Thanks, Sul. See ya soon.

 

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