Anthony Nomar Garciaparra
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 165 lb.
- School Georgia Institute of Technology
- High School St. John Bosco High School
- Debut August 31, 1996
- Final Game October 4, 2009
- Born July 23, 1973 in Whittier, CA USA
Nomar Garciaparra was a major star and one of the greatest shortstops of his era. Most of his major league career was spent with the Boston Red Sox, for whom he was a five-time All Star and American League batting champ in 1999 and 2000. Through 2005, his career batting average was .320 over 10 seasons. In 2006 with the Dodgers he was again among the league leaders in batting average, finishing the season with a .303 average. He spent the final year of his career with the Oakland Athletics before signing a one-day contract with Boston in 2010 to retire a member of the Red Sox.
Amateur career and Minors
A major star in college at Georgia Tech, Garciaparra played on the 1992 Barcelona Olympics baseball team. He was then a 1st round pick by the Red Sox in the 1994 amateur draft, but his minor league stops in Sarasota, Trenton, and with the Gulf Coast Red Sox from 1994-1996, while decent, did not make it obvious that he would be a tremendous major league star. However, he blossomed in 43 games in 1996 with Pawtucket in the International League where he posted .343/.387/.733 with 16 homers, and got a ticket to the majors.
Prime years in the majors
He then played for the Boston Red Sox from 1996 to 2004, when he was traded to the Chicago Cubs at the trading deadline in 2004 in a four-team trade that sent Orlando Cabrera to the Red Sox. He won the 1997 American League Rookie of the Year Award and finished second in the 1998 American League MVP voting.
As a regular from 1997-2000, Nomar's batting average went up each year, from .306 to .323 to .357 to .372. He had highs of 35 home runs and 122 RBI in 1998. Each year from 1997-2003 he was at least 11th in the MVP voting except for 2001, most of which he missed.
He was the first player to drive in runs in his first five playoff games; Pedro Alvarez later tied then broke the mark in 2013. Garciaparra held the record for fewest games (869) to reach 2,000 total bases, but this record was broken in 2006 by Albert Pujols.
Later years with the Red Sox and with the Dodgers
From 2001 to 2005, though, he did not hit above .310 and struggled with injuries. He recovered after moving to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006, winning the National League's Comeback Player of the Year Award after playing in 122 games, but he injured himself again during the post-season, which limited him to a pinch-hitting role after the second game of the NLDS. In March of 2010, he signed a one-day contract with the Red Sox in order to retire with the team.
Through 2008 at age 34, the most similar players included three Hall of Famers, all of whom were catchers from the 1920s or 1930s. The most similar contemporary through age 34 was Jeff Kent. Perhaps showing how unusual Nomar was, none of the ten most similar players were shortstops.
He has played more games than any other major leaguer from Georgia Tech (which has contributed 38 players to the major leagues), except for Del Pratt.
His unique name comes from his father. Anthony is his given first name, his middle name Nomar is the reverse of his father's name, Ramon. His brother, Michael Garciaparra, was a minor leaguer infielder from 2002-2010.
- 1997 AL Rookie of the Year Award
- 1997 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
- 6-time All-Star (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 & 2006)
- AL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1997)
- 2006 NL Comeback Player of the Year
- 2-time AL Batting Average Leader (1999 & 2000)
- AL At Bats Leader (1997)
- AL Hits Leader (1997)
- AL Doubles Leader (2002)
- AL Triples Leader (1997)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 7 (1997-2000, 2002, 2003 & 2006)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 2 (1997 & 1998)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 4 (1998, 1999, 2002 & 2003)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 6 (1997-2000, 2002 & 2003)
- 200 Hits Seasons: 1 (1997)
|AL Rookie of the Year|
|Derek Jeter||Nomar Garciaparra||Ben Grieve|
- Jesse Yomtov: "Hall of Fame case: Nomar Garciaparra's incomplete resume", USA Today Sports, January 2, 2015.