Former Boston Red Sox All-Star shortstop, Nomar Garciaparra, was warmly welcomed back to Fenway Park Wednesday night, for the first time since announcing his retirement.
On March 10, the Red Sox signed Garciaparra to a one-day contract, allowing him to end his career in a Red Sox uniform. He threw out the first pitch and had the opportunity to thank fans at the Red Sox spring training facility in Ft. Myers, Fla. The Red Sox ownership group of John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino wanted to give Garciaparra the opportunity to greet and thank fans at Fenway Park.
Garciaparra was joined on the field by his wife, Mia, their two daughters, and his parents. A host of Red Sox personnel included long-time member of the Red Sox Johnny Pesky, as well as current and former teammates of Garciaparra's: Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, Tim Wakefield, Lou Merloni, Brian Daubach, and Trot Nixon. Former Georgia Tech and Red Sox teammate, Jason Varitek caught the ceremonial first pitch from Garciaparra, a sidearm throw from across his body, like many of the plays he made from shortstop while with the Red Sox.
The Red Sox presented Nomar with a pair of Fenway Park seats and an engraved watch. The seats were numbered with Nomar's trademark number five, and Johnny Pesky's number six.
Garciaparra's career had been plagued by injuries over the course of the last decade. His best season, arguably, since being traded by the Red Sox at the 2004 trade deadline was 2006 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was elected to the National League All-Star Team as the NL Final Vote winner, and in November of 2006, he was named the NL Comeback Player of the Year.
Since retiring, Garciaparra has joined ESPN as a baseball analyst. He will be a contributing analyst for Baseball Tonight, and will provide color for select Wednesday Night Baseball telecasts.