The Boston Red Sox honored Nomar Garciaparra last night at Fenway Park, almost six years after he was traded to the Chicago Cubs. Nomar, who signed a one-day contract in March so he could retire in a Boston uniform, walked onto the field wearing a home white number 5 Red Sox jersey. He was joined by his wife Mia Hamm and their two daughters. Several of his former teammates joined him for the ceremony as well, including still-active players Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz.
Nomar threw out the first pitch last night. Instead of the usual soft-toss first pitch, Garciaparra went out to shortstop, rubbed some dirt on his hand, then went to the third-base side of the mound and made one of his signature off-balanced, side-arm throws to the plate, where Varitek was standing with a glove.
Nomar won two batting titles with the Red Sox and was treated like a god while he was there. So it was appropriate for him to retire in Boston.
"Now I'm retiring as a Boston Red Sox, so it never leaves you. It's always been one of the biggest parts of my heart -- this organization and this uniform. So that gets to stay with me forever.
When you really look at it, that's what you want. You want to be able to go out there. We play this game, it's a wonderful game, but to have those relationships and build those relationships and experience that -- that's what makes the game special."
I'm real happy for Nomar. The fans in Los Angeles loved him, but not as much as they did in Boston. It always reminds me of the Sully and Denise sketch from Saturday Night Live. This is one of my favorite sketches of all time. Check it out:
Saturday Night Live - Sully and Denise: Nomar - Video - NBC.com