Nomar Garciaparra retired yesterday and he retired as a member of the Boston Red Sox. That's great - now he can go into the Hall of Fame wearing a Red Sox cap.What you don't think Nomar deserves induction? Well let me tell you - if they let in Joe Gordon then Normar is a sure thing!
I'm only half-joking about that Hall of Fame bit. People say that know a Hall of Famer when they see one. That's the main argument keeping Bert Blyleven out of the Hall. Conversely people who watched Nomar play in his first full six seasons will tell you they thought they were watching a surefire Hall of Famer. Nomar won the Rookie of the Year, two batting titles and was top 10 in MVP voting 4 times during those years. If at the end of 2000 you polled baseball fans which shortstop would end up in Cooperstown then Nomar would have topped the list over A-Rod and Jeter.
Nomar was unique. His batting style, his great big nose, his love of soccer and Mia Hamm. He was the anti-Jeter and anti-A-Rod. And we loved him for it!
Then came the wrist injury. Then came the trade out of town which was accompanied by the Red Sox front office knocking Nomar down in the media in order to build themselves up. Then came the five and a half years in the wilderness where Nomar was no longer Nomar. He was an oft-injured player whose prime was behind him. Then came yesterday's retirement announcement. The prodigal son had returned and he was welcomed with open arms.
Nomar's body let him down but he never let Red Sox fans down. He gave it his all every time he took the field and just as important - he didn't disappear in the playoffs (*cough*Roger Clemens*cough*).
So welcome back Nomar. For some of us - you never really left the fold. Just do me a favor - stop with the "Red Sox Nation" crap. For real fans "Red Sox Nation" is just a made up marketing program.