Nomar Garciaparra learned Wednesday that he’ll join Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and play-by-play announcer Joe Castiglione in being inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2014. The honor speaks volumes about Garciaparra’s time with the organization.
Garciaparra, who was selected to five All-Star Games in nine seasons with the Red Sox from 1996-2004, said on WEEI’s Mut & Merloni on Wednesday that joining the Red Sox Hall of Fame alongside three other Boston legends is “definitely special.” The former Sox shortstop also made clear that there are no hard feelings despite the club trading him before the 2004 trade deadline.
“You mention about [the] trade and how I felt. People will ask me, and I’ve heard, ‘Oh, he was bitter.’ If I was so bitter — I don’t know how much more to explain how much I love the Red Sox and the Nation other than signing a one-day [contract] and retiring as a Red Sox. I wanted to do that,” Garciaparra said. “I don’t know what other action, what I could say more about what the Red Sox mean to me — the organization, the fans and what they all meant to me. That, first and foremost, I think, speaks volumes.
“And now, to be honored like this? Like I said, this is unexpected. I never thought about this or played for this. But to be recognized like this, I’m lost for words. Because it really means so much to me. There was a moment where I was just kind of sitting by myself and I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness, I’m getting inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.’ And what that truly does mean to me, I’m not going to lie, I started tearing up. Because it means that much.”
Many former Little Leaguers across New England will forever remember replicating Garciaparra’s unique superstitions, which included tapping his toes in the batter’s box and feverishly tightening his batting gloves after every pitch. Others will remember Garciaparra’s hard-nosed style of play or his offensive prowess, which netted him the fourth-best career batting average (.323) and fifth-best slugging percentage (.553) in Red Sox history.
But no matter what, Garciaparra will be remembered as a special player. He now has a Red Sox Hall of Fame induction to prove it.