Red Sox Rookie of the Year winners: Ranking their careers
May 18, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Football Club owner Nomar Garciaparra speaks at a press conference at Exposition Park to announce the intent to build a 22,000 soccer stadium at the site of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Third Place: Nomar Garciaparra
ROY Totals: 153 G, 209 H, .306/.342/.534, 30 HR, 98 RBI, WAR 6.4
Career Totals: 1434 G, 1747 H, .313/.361/.521, 229 HR, 936 RBI, WAR 41.4
What could have been? Nomar appeared on the fast-track for the Hall of Fame until injury intervened and the numbers dropped – especially after being traded to the Cubs and making the rounds to the Dodgers and Oakland before packing it in by age 35.
A six-time All-Star whose defensive skills were generally considered average with a TZ (Total Zone) 34 for his career. For comparisons, Derek Jeter finished with a TZ of -123.
In his early Red Sox years, this observer considered Garciaparra an excellent defender with a strong-arm, but injuries appeared to impact his range. Nomar did have his baseball salad days in Boston with a slash of .323/.370/.553, two batting titles and a reputation as possibly the toughest out in baseball.
The 2004 championship season saw Nomar shipped to the Cubs at the trade deadline. The details are sketchy, but the assumption is both the team and Garciaparra felt better to move on, but that is the territory of TMZ so I will avoid it.
Garciaparra and the old wounds from Boston – real or imagined – have healed. Garciaparra retired as a Red Sox by signing a one-day contract.