After spending a season vacationing in Oakland as their "veteran back up" (a la Mike Piazza and Frank Thomas)...Nomar Garciaparra has decided to take it all back to where it started and sign with the Red Sox.
So he can retire.
"My tank's empty," the grinning future ESPN employee said at a press conference this morning after signing a one-day minor-league contract with the team.
For his career, the six time All-Star batting .313, with 1747 hits. However, those totals don't even compare to the mark he left on the Boston landscape.
Beloved in BeanTown until he, well, fell out of favor and was traded prior to the Red Sox championship run in 2004, Garciaparra hit .323 and collected 178 home runs and 690 RBI while with Boston.
The 1997 American League Rookie of the Year finished second a year later in the MVP voting of when he hit .323 with 35 home runs and 122 RBI. In 1999 and 2000, the shortstop led the American League in hitting while batting .357 and .372 respectively and, in the process, became the first right-handed hitter to win back-to-back batting titles since Joe DiMaggio did it in 1939-1940.
And lastly, from the Wikipedia file...Garciappara is also one of 13 players in Major League history to hit two grand slams during a single game, and the only player to achieve the feat at home.
If only I had known that back in 2005 when I met him, I wouldn't have had to bust out the "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Joint" reference.