Monday, July 24, 2017

Nomar Was 44 Sunday: Can We Finally Appreciate Him?

(Getty Images)
Yesterday was Nomar Garciaparra's 44th birthday. Twenty-one years ago next month, he made his MLB debut as a member of the Red Sox. The way he departed Boston—no matter who you blame for the way it all happened in 2004—has somehow tarnished his overall contribution to the Red Sox. It should not have. By any measure, his contribution was epic. Full disclosure: Nomar was our favorite player of the era—he bled Red Sox red. He always hustled, was a hitting machine, and was the heart and soul of the ball-club. But, in fairness, let's take an objective look at his nine-year tenure in Carmine Hose. Garciaparra hit .323 over 966 games for Boston (getting him batting titles in 1999 and 2000). His on-base percentage as a Red Sox player was a ridiculous .370—and he slugged .553 and carried an OPS of .923. He collected 1,281 hits for Boston—including 178 HRs and 690 RBIs. He had exactly as many walks for the Red Sox as doubles (279), and led the AL in two-baggers in 2002. He was Rookie-Of-The-Year in 1997 and a five-time All-Star while with the Red Sox. His .372 average in 2000 was frighteningly close to the "un-reachable" .400 mark. In his total 14-year career, he hit .313 with an .882 OPS. Pretty damn impressive. Thanks, Nomar—and a belated Happy Birthday!