Red Sox “Way Back Weekly” – Nomar Garciaparra


With the offseason officially underway, we here at BSI have started a new segment called “Way Back Weekly,” taking trips down memory lane to highlight specific players and also check in on what they’re doing today. Here is part three of “Way Back Weekly.”

In honor of his recent inclusion on the 2015 ballot for enshrinement into the National Baseball of Fame, let’s take a look back at the career of Nomar Garciaparra.

The 14-year major league career of “Nomah” is one that brings to mind the classic case of “what could have been?” Just how great could Nomar have been if not for some injury-plagued seasons during the 2000s? Could he have been one of the great shortstops in MLB history? From the 1997-2003 seasons, Nomar was right there with Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez as the face of the premier position in baseball and looked well on his way to a possible hall of fame career.

Injuries, steroid rumors, and a fractured relationship to end his career in Boston partially carried over to his remaining seasons with the Cubs, Dodgers and Athletics, but for a while, Nomar was one of the best.


  • The Georgia Tech product was drafted by the Red Sox with the 12th overall pick in the 1994 amateur draft.
  • Nomar made his major league debut on July 31, 1996, during a 8-0 loss against the Athletics. The infielder actually made his debut at second base, subbing in for Jeff Frye late in the blowout. He flew out to left field in his first at-bat.         
  • After playing in 24 games during the 1996 season, Nomar broke out in a big way the following year. He was named 1997 Rookie of the Year after leading the league in at-bats (684), hits (209), and triples (11). He also finished the season with 122 runs scored, 44 doubles, 30 home runs, 98 runs batted in, and a .306 batting average. He made his first all-star team and finished eighth in the Most Valuable Player voting.
  • His 1998 season may have even been better. He finished the campaign with 35 home runs and 122 runs batted in, and finished second to Juan Gonzalez in the MVP voting.
  • Nomar continued the impressive start to his career from 1999-2003, leading the league in hitting in 1999 and 2000 (including an absurd .372 AVG in 2000), while posting a league-best 56 doubles in 2002. During the 2001 season, he was limited to 21 games due to a wrist injury.
  • He had a cameo appearance in a 2000 episode of “Saturday Night Live” during “The Boston Teens” sketch. The hilarious scene can be viewed here.
  • Following trade rumors, injuries and an overall disgruntled shortstop, the Red Sox front office traded the supposed franchise player in a four-team deal that netted the Sox Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz.


  • Nomar’s one-and-a-half seasons with the Cubs were largely unsuccessful, as he played in just 62 games in 2005 and signed with the Dodgers prior to the 2006 season.
  • During the 2005 offseason, Nomar played the role of off-the-field hero, helping save two potential drowning victims.
  • His first season with the Dodgers was a big one. as he hit .303 with 20 home runs and 93 runs batted in, finishing 13th in the MVP race and making his first all-star team since 2003.
  • Signed as a free agent with the Oakland Athletics prior to the 2009 season.
  • Nomar returned to Fenway Park as a visiting player in July 2009 for the first time since the 2004 trade. Below is a video of his reception from the Fenway faithful.
  • He played in his final major league game on Oct. 4, 2009, going 2-for-3 in a 5-3 loss against the Angels.
  • In March 2010, Nomar signed a one-day contract with the Red Sox and officially retired as a BoSox player.


For the past five seasons, Nomar has worked as an analyst and broadcaster with ESPN. He has been involved with “Baseball Tonight”, “Wednesday Night Baseball” telecasts, the College World Series, and the Little League World Series.

The Sox held “Nomar Garciaparra Night” at Fenway in May 2010, as the shortstop was honored and threw out the first pitch.

During the 2014 season, Nomar worked on Dodgers radio and television broadcasts, helping with analysis for SportsNet LA, KLAC, and the Dodgers Radio Network.

More from BoSox Injection

It was announced earlier this year that Nomar, along with Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, and radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione, would be inducted in the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.

Nomar has been married to former World Cup champion soccer player Mia Hamm for 11 years and they have three children together. Boy, what athletic children they are going to be!