I was four years old when Nomar Garciaparra was drafted by the Red Sox in the first round of the 1994 draft. I was six when Nomar first played at Fenway Park, and my attention was admittedly elsewhere. When he was shipped off to Chicago, I was fourteen, and more central in my life. It hurt to see him go, even with all the shenanigans going on behind the scenes. When Nomar finally returned to Fenway Park last season, I was nineteen. Seeing the fans reception and Nomar's reaction brought tears to my eyes.
Earlier this offseason, I saw Garciaparra doing a guest spot on ESPN's Baseball Tonight, and I laughed at the irony. During his years as a player - especially in Boston - Nomar had a notoriously rocky relationship with the media, and here he was acting as one of them. Don't get me wrong, the camera loves Nomar, and he will make an excellent analyst (maybe he can cover their baseball broadcasts so the commentary won't be so inane).
As I'm typing this, Nomar is giving a farewell press conference with the Red Sox logo in the background, as it should be. He is giving his due to the fans, and thanking Theo and the ownership group for giving him the opportunity to retire as a Boston Red Sox.
More on this later. I want to watch.