(Photo File/National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)
Red Sox great Nomar Garciaparra turns 42 today. For those fans too young to remember him, imagine having an elite superstar in the lineup every night—an offensive and defensive force at shortstop. For most of his nine seasons in Carmine Hose, Nomar was a rock star to The Nation—and deservedly so. He pissed off elements of the mainstream media—but, by and large, fans didn't care. He was ourNomah. Check out his achievements in Boston laundry: a .323 average (including batting titles in 1999 and 2000), 178 HRs, a .370 on-base percentage, and a .923 OPS. He was also a five-time All-Star as a member of the Red Sox and was Rookie Of The Year in 1997. He finished in the Top 10 of AL MVP voting five times. The man was legit. Sure, he moped and played Hamlet On The Charles from time to time—but we should all recognize him for the great Red Sox player he was. Happy birthday, Nomar!