Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our Golden Boy No-mar

When the news was announced, the shock waves left a deafening silence throughout the nation. Children cried and grown men questioned what was real in the game they loved so much, shaking their heads in disbelief. We grieved as if he had passed, his name on the lips of everyone that July 31, 2004. He was our face of hope, the only bright spot in those dark, cursed days at Fenway and as much a part of the historied baseball legacy of his team as the uniform he put on every day he was here. Then, in an instant, he was gone.

A bold move for an unknown, young, general manager still cutting his teeth on a team that is adored by a nation. Theo Epstein instantly became an enigma with some serious balls for trading away the franchise for Single A outfield prospect Matt Murton and two former Gold Glovers, shortstop Orlando Cabrera from the Montreal Expos and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz from the Twins. There are those who believe that move was the main reason the Red Sox went on to win their first World Series title in 86 years. The same people who cried were once again cheering, and Epstien became our new hero.

Nomar Garciaparra was shipped off to Chicago in the midst of what some experts called a possible "Hall of Fame" career. Last night Nomar returned to Fenway, his first time since he was traded, playing for his third team in five years in a career that has been riddled with injury and disappointment. He told the press last night at a pregame press conference, "When I got traded, I was on the road and never got to say 'thank you'," he said. Last night, at his first at-bat at Fenway, he got his wish.

The Boston Herald's Ron Borges explained the extraordinary emotional moment last night at the plate. "Garciaparra waved his Oakland A's batting helmet and the roar grew louder. he turned from side to side, acknowledging each part of the park with a wave. The roar increased. Then, his head bowed from the emotion of what he was receiving, he turned and patted his heart and then clapped back."

Nomar got what he so rightly deserved. The love of and admiration of an undying nation, who were grateful for what he gave when he played here. Even though Nomar plays for another team, the faithful at Fenway let him know, last night, that he will always be a Red Sox and that we love him like our own. He let us know that he loves us right back. It was one of those special moments that will live on in the hearts of Red Sox fans and in the highlight reel of Mr. Garciaparra's career.

Thanks Nomar. We love you too.


Bill Stankus said...

It's kinda cool to see a baseball player actually show an emotional side to fans. I think, a long time ago, there were real bonds between players and fans - but with the onset of rent-a-player, today's fans mostly cheer for the uniform.

When Griffey returned to Seattle it has been a fan love affair even tho Griffey isn't what he was when he first was a Mariner.

I think what Garciaparra did with Boston will be remembered for a long, long time. And Griffey will always be a Seattle fan favorite - in part because he recognized the bond that can exist between player and fan.

B.E. Earl said...

What are you gonna do when it comes out that he was on steroids too?

Hate to say it, but his peaks and his subsequent fall right at the time testing began kinda suggests it.

None of these guys are beyond suspicion in my eyes. Well, maybe Jeter. ;)

Heff said...

They're ALL on 'roids !!

Prunella Jones said...

I'd be more surprised to find out an athlete isn't on 'roids or some sort of performance enhancing drug. They may as well make all that stuff legal.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Yeah, thanks. Nomar showed up in Chicago to play for a season and a half in which, I think, he might have gotten on the field for a total of sixty games.

However, acquiring Nomar was the catalyst that caused that cancer Sammy Sosa to want out of Chicago, so I guess I'm thankful for that.

TROLL Y2K said...

I'm neutral!

BeckEye said...

Hmm, I always thought his name was Nomaaaaah.

Anonymous said...

Candy - what makes you think it was not you that I was saying goodnight to? Hmmm, Interesting now innet?

Anonymous said...

Nomar's career certainly has hit the skids since he left Boston. He was having a hell of a career till the injuries started hitting him, what a shame.

Wil Harrison.com

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