Former MLB All-Star Nomar Garciaparra is returning to the Dodgers in 2014. Garciaparra will serve as a color analyst with play-by-play partner Rick Monday on Dodgers broadcasts on 570 KLAC radio, as well as pre-and-post game telecasts on the team’s new 24/7 regional sports network, SportsNet LA.
Following his retirement from MLB in 2010, Garciaparra worked at ESPN across multiple platforms, including Baseball Tonight and various game telecasts, and became one of the leads analysts for the network’s coverage of the College World Series and the Little League World Series from 2011-13.
A native of Whittier, CA, and a graduate of Bellflower’s St. John Bosco High School, Garciaparra played 14 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, the Dodgers and the Oakland A’s. He had a .313 batting average with 229 home runs and 936 RBI. He was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1997; American League batting champion in 1999 and 2000; National League Comeback Player of the Year with the Dodgers in 2006; a six-time MLB All-Star and won a Silver Slugger Award. He is one of 13 players in Major League history to hit two grand slams in a single game and the only player to achieve the feat at his home stadium. He hit safely and scored a run in the first five games of his post-season career (1998-99) to join Ian Kinsler as the only players to start his postseason career with such an accomplishment.
Upon being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Garciaparra elected not to sign and instead attended Georgia Tech, advancing to the College World Series title game in 1994. He was a first-round pick of the Red Sox that year.
As a rookie with the Red Sox in 1997, Garciaparra hit 30 home runs and had 98 RBI, setting a MLB record for RBI by a leadoff hitter and most homers by a rookie shortstop. His 30-game hitting streak set an A.L. rookie record. He followed that with 35 home runs and 122 RBI in 1998 and placed second in the AL Most Valuable Player balloting.
He led the AL in batting average by hitting .357 in 1999 and .372 in 2000. He was the first right-handed hitter since Joe DiMaggio to win consecutive batting titles.
Garciaparra was traded to the Cubs at the July trade deadline in 2004, but in appreciation for all his contributions his Red Sox teammates voted him a World Series ring after sweeping the Cardinals to win their first World Series since 1916.
Garciaparra signed with the Dodgers in 2006 and moved from shortstop to first base. He earned his sixth All-Star berth and finished the year with a .303 average, 20 homers and 93 RBI. He helped the Dodgers reach the postseason and was named NL Comeback Player of the Year. He also hit two momentous home runs that season, the first on Sept. 18 following four consecutive home runs in the ninth inning to tie a game with San Diego, he hit a walk-off two-run homer in the 10th to win the game, 11-10. Six days later, he hit a walk-off grand slam in a win over Arizona.
After playing with Oakland in 2009, Garciaparra signed a one-day contract with Boston in 2010 to retire as a Red Sox. He was extremely popular in Boston, this admiration reflected in a Saturday Night Live sketch “The Boston Teens,” in which Garciaparra made a cameo appearance. On “Nomar Garciaparra Night” on May 5, 2010, he was honored before the game and he will be inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame this summer.
Garciaparra was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic baseball team and his wife, Olympian and World Cup soccer champion Mia Hamm, played on the 1996, 2000 and 2004 women’s Olympic soccer team. Garciaparra’s cousin, Arturo Javier Ledesma, plays professional soccer in Mexico. His uncle is legendary Mexican soccer goalkeeper Javier “Zully” Medesma. His brother, Michael Garciaparra, has played minor league baseball. Garciaparra’s given first name is Anthony, but he is known by his middle name, Nomar, the backwards spelling of his father’s name, Ramon.
Garciaparra and Hamm were married in 2003. They have twin girls, Grace and Ava, 7, and a son, Garrett, 2.