Nomar addresses Fenway Park last year on his return.
Seeing Nomar retire as a Boston Red Sock today is a akin to watching a Sunshower. It leaves me feeling both happy and sad. I only bought one ticket last year through the "official" Boston Red Sox website, and that was the first game that Nomar came back to Fenway Park as a visiting player. Quite simply, I had to pay my respect to the man, and that I did - in full throat.
I'm now a 30 year old man, and it's strange to not be a kid anymore on so many levels. Guys I grew up looking up to in sports are becoming an extinct species as each year passes, and seeing Nomar at that podium today is like watching the door close on my youth.
In 1994, Nomar's first year as a member of the Boston Red Sox, I was just an impressionable freshman in high school - and Nomar was a God. He represented the Boston Red Sox and us as fans well before we were a marketable bunch. Before we had the name of Red Sox Nation. Before "the curse" was oiled up into the monster hype machine it bacame.
We were just die hards then, and he - well, he was just a ballplayer. Well - not just a ballplayer, he was THE ballplayer. His quirky adjustments in the batters box matched the odd dimensions of Fenway Park along with the psyche of the Red Sox fan to a tee. We lived and breathed with "The Kid 2.0" - he carried the torch of past Red Sox greats - and represented the uniform with the utmost respect. His relationship with Ted Williams is well documented. Williams used to say he thought Nomar would be the next guy to hit .400 - and the day Ted passed on, Nomar embodied the emotion felt by the rest of New England with a grace only he could pull off.
His last few months in a Red Sox uniform were curious, and it is sad he wasn't here when we won it all - but sour grapes aren't welcome to this party. Without Nomar and Pedro, there would have been no idiots, no 2004, no 2007, and no Red Sox Nation. And for that I stand again and cheer, for Nomar's home again, and for one day, I feel like a kid again.
Nomar Garciaparra is dead. Long live Nomar.