Date of birth: 23 July 1973
Primary position: Shortstop
Elected to Red Sox Hall of Fame: 2014
In his first major league start on the first day of September in 1996, Nomar Garciaparra’s first hit for Boston was a home run, and he ended the day going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two driven in; that would be just a taste of what he would accomplish during his time in Boston. A year later in his first full season, Garciaparra became a force as Boston’s leadoff hitter, making 684 plate appearances to set a club record. He also collected 209 hits, a rookie club record, for a .306 clip and hit 30 home runs while driving home 98 and scoring 122 runs himself; those numbers easily making him the American League Rookie of the Year.
Garciaparra continued to dazzle over the next few seasons, winning batting titles in 1999 and 2000 while also hitting 117 home runs and driving home 436 runs in his first four-plus seasons. In September of 2000, as Boston finished out of the playoffs for the first time in three years, Garciaparra was hit on the wrist by an errant pitch. The following spring, just a week after a Sports Illustrated article and cover proclaimed him the most physically-fit player in baseball, he aggravated the injury again and spent most of the 2001 season on the disabled list, appearing in just 21 games midway through the season.
Returning to full strength in 2002, Garciaparra would again produce at the plate over the next two seasons, hitting another 52 home runs and driving home another 225 RBI while batting above .300 both years. Just a week before the 2004 season was to begin, Garciaparra ended up on the disabled list with a sore Achilles, but there were whispers that the injury was a front in a dispute that had erupted between the shortstop and the franchise over salary negotiations, as he was due to become a free agent at the end of that season. He eventually returned to the lineup in June and batted .321 in 38 games, but a surprise deadline trade sent him to the Chicago Cubs, bringing his Boston career to an abrupt end.
Career Batting Statistics through 2018 Season
Awards and Recognition with Boston
Batting Champion (.357), 1999
Batting Champion (.372), 2000
Rookie of the Year Award, 1997
Silver Slugger Award (SS), 1997
Memorable Moments for Nomar Garciaparra
- 2 June 1994 - The Red Sox select shortstop Nomar Garciaparra from Georgia Tech in the first round of the amateur draft.
- 31 August 1996 - Nomar Garciaparra makes his debut for Boston, appearing as a late-inning replacement at second base for Jeff Frye, and goes hitless in a single at-bat while the Red Sox lose 8-0 to the Athletics in Oakland.
- 1 September 1996 - Making his first major-league start, Nomar Garciaparra hits a home run off future Red Sox reliever John Wasdin in an 8-3 win for Boston over Oakland.
- 3 November 1997 - Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, who led the league with 209 hits, is selected unanimously as American League Rookie of the Year.
- 10 May 1999 - Nomar Garciaparra hits three home runs, including two grand slams, and ties a club record with 10 RBI in a 12-4 Red Sox win over the Mariners at Fenway Park.
- 23 July 2002 - Celebrating his 29th birthday, Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra hits three home in the span of two innings, as Boston destroys the visiting Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 22-4. Garciaparra becomes the first player to hit three home runs over two consecutive innings and also ties a record with five home runs in consecutive ball games.
- 16 February 2004 - After the Red Sox are unable to complete a trade with the Rangers within a 72-hour window, Texas trades Alex Rodriguez along with cash to the New York Yankees in exchange for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later, Joaquin Arias. The players' assocation had objected to the terms that would have restructured the contract of the reigning American League MVP. The trade would have also sent Manny Ramirez and prospect Jon Lester to the Rangers and Nomar Garciaparra to the White Sox in exchange for Magglio Ordonez.
- 31 July 2004 - Nomar Garciaparra departs after seven-plus seasons in Boston, traded to Chicago in a blockbuster four-team deal that brings shortstop Orlando Cabrera and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz to the Red Sox.
- 10 March 2010 - Former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra signs a ceremonial one-day contract with Boston and uses the occasion to announce his retirement, which ends a 14-year major league career. He then proceeds to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to Jason Varitek, who was teammates with Garciaparra at both Georgia Tech and Boston.
- 5 May 2010 - Former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, who officially retired as a Red Sox player during spring training, is honored during a pregame ceremony at Fenway Park.