Happy birthday, Nomar!

Jorge Camargo

Contributing Writer

Today is the birthday of Red Sox Hall of Famer, Nomar Garciaparra. He was an icon for the Red Sox since 1997, the year he won the Rookie of the Year Award, until the trade deadline of 2004. Sadly, Nomar was having a down year in 2004 so he found himself traded to the Chicago Cubs. However, his former Red Sox teammates voted for Nomar to receive a World Series ring even though he was not with the Red Sox during the playoffs. Curt Schilling has said that if not for Garciaparra, the Red Sox might haven't been in a position of finally winning the World Series.

From being back-to-back batting champion in 1999 and 2000 to NL Comeback Player of the Year, Nomar had several accomplishments in his 13-year career in the MLB. Here are some fun facts from the shortstop:

Photo from Jim Davis/Boston Globe

  • Honus Wagner is the only shortstop in history to win more consecutive batting titles. (Four straight from 1906 to 1909)
  • Before Nomar, Joe DiMaggio was the last American Leaguer to win back-to-back batting titles.
  • He used a kid's glove during the first games of Spring Training, so he could sharpen his fielding.
  • Nomar is the only player in Major League history to hit two grand slams in the same inning at his home stadium.
  • He married World Cup Champion soccer star, Mia Hamm. Their wedding was so secret that guests were not informed of its location until the day of the ceremony.
  • His batting average was almost identical against lefties as against righties. Over his 13-year career he managed to hit .313 against right-handed pitchers and .312 against southpaws.

Which is your favorite memory from Garciaparra? Do you think that the Red Sox should retire his number? Leave your comments below and don't forget to follow us on Twitter at @RedSoxLife and once you're there, follow me at @iamjorgecamargo.