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Nomar Garciaparra today announced his retirement from Major League Baseball – as a member of the Boston Red Sox – after a 14-year career, and his new role as an ESPN baseball analyst. Garciaparra will mainly be seen on Baseball Tonight, in addition to select appearances as a game analyst. He will make his ESPN debut later this month.
“After years of enjoying the privilege of playing this great game wearing Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, and A’s jerseys in front of truly amazing fans, today I’ve decided to end my playing days,” said Garciaparra. “I’ve been blessed to have had a long career as a player and feel fortunate to continue this great journey as a member of the ESPN team.
“I look forward to contributing my knowledge and experience in this new endeavor. I thank my family, friends, teammates, and fans for their support throughout my career and as I move in this new and exciting direction.”
Jay Levy, ESPN senior coordinating producer, said, “Nomar offers the perspective of an All-Star player, recently out of the game, with experience playing in both leagues and in high-profile markets. His baseball knowledge and ability to relate stories from his career will enhance our telecasts.”
(Click above image for clips of Garciaparra, guest analyst on Baseball Tonight Feb. 9, 2010)
Garciaparra played 14 Major League seasons (Boston, 1996-2004; Chicago Cubs, 2004-05; Los Angeles Dodgers, 2006-08; and Oakland, 2009). He is a six-time All-Star, two-time batting champion (1999, 2000) and Silver Slugger Award winner (1997). He was named A.L. Rookie of the Year in 1997 and N.L. Comeback Player of the Year in 2006.
A majority of Garciaparra’s best statistical seasons occurred throughout his nine-year tenure in Boston. During his Rookie of the Year and first All-Star season in 1997, Garciaparra led the league in hits (209), while batting .306 with 30 home runs and 98 runs batted in. In 1998, he placed second in MVP voting with 35 home runs, 122 RBI, and a .323 batting average.
Garciaparra followed those stellar seasons with a pair of All-Star campaigns – in 1999, he hit 27 home runs and 104 RBI with a .357 batting average; in 2000, he had a career-best .372 batting average, with 21 home runs and 96 RBI. Garciaparra led the A.L. in batting average both seasons.
Garciaparra missed most of the 2001 season with a wrist injury, but returned to All-Star form in 2002 (.310 batting average with 24 home runs and 120 RBI) and 2003 (.301 batting average with 28 home runs and 105 RBI).
After nine seasons in Boston, Garciaparra was traded to the Chicago Cubs during the 2004 season. He spent two years in Chicago before closing out his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics. In 2006, Garciaparra was named N.L. Comeback Player of the Year and an All-Star with the Dodgers, accumulating 20 home runs, 93 RBI and a .303 batting average.
In addition to his regular-season performances, Garciaparra’s teams made the postseason five times. Garciaparra holds a .321 postseason batting average with seven home runs and 24 RBI.
Garciaparra is married to Olympian and World Cup champion soccer star Mia Hamm. The couple has twin daughters and currently resides in Los Angeles.