Nomar Garciaparra Signs with Red Sox, Quickly Announces Retirement

Photo by George Campbell

Photo by George Campbell

Nomar Garciaparra signed a minor league deal this morning with the Boston Red Sox, then promptly announced his retirement at a 10:30 AM press conference. Joining Nomar at the press conference were President/CEO Larry Lucchino and Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein. Several friends and family members of Garciaparra were on hand, including wife Mia and his two daughters.

“From the first day I had the thrill of putting on a Red Sox uniform and playing in front of all the great fans at Fenway Park, I have felt at home in Boston,” said Garciaparra. “While I had the privilege of playing with other legendary teams, I always saw myself retiring in a Red Sox uniform. Today I am honored to live that dream thanks to Mr. Henry, Mr. Werner, Mr. Lucchino, Theo, and this wonderful organization. I thank my family, friends, teammates, fans and all who have supported me throughout this wonderful journey.”

Photo by George Campbell

Nomar received a standing ovation when he took to the field at City of Palms Park prior to the Red Sox / Jays game today. He threw out the first pitch, which was caught by long time teammate Jason Varitek.

He will begin a new career starting tomorrow, as an analysist for ESPN. The media wasted no time kidding the former shortstop about working on the other side of the mic soon.

The right-handed hitter finished among the top 10 in American League Most Valuable Player voting five times with Boston, including four straight from 1997-2000. He is one of six players in Red Sox history to earn AL Rookie of the Year honors after hitting .306 (209-for-684) with 122 runs, 44 doubles, 30 homers, 98 RBI and 22 steals in 1997. He was voted onto six All-Star teams including five with Boston and started at shortstop in the 1999 contest at Fenway Park.

Garciaparra appeared in 32 playoff games over the course of his career, batting .321 (36-for-112) with seven homers and 24 RBI. He hit .323 (31-for-96) with seven homers and 21 RBI in 25 postseason contests with Boston.

He was originally selected by the Red Sox with the 12th overall pick in first round of the 1994 First-Year Player Draft out of Georgia Tech. He was dealt to the Cubs as part of a four-team trade on July 31, 2004. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein said the two had remained in contact since the trade, and he was thrilled to have Nomar retire wearing a Red Sox uniform.

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