Anthony Nomar Garciaparra (July 23, 1973-) emerged from the Boston Red Sox minor league system with notable quirks and superstitions that thrust him into the media spotlight, but his remarkable performance in his rookie season kept him in the lineup and spotlight for many years to come. Nomar starred at Georgia Institute of Technology, more familiarly known as Georgia Tech, where he was a two-time All-American and helped lead the Yellow Jackets to the 1994 College World Series final game, only to fall to Oklahoma. The Milwaukee Brewers originally took Garciaparra in the fifth round of the 1991 MLB June Amateur Draft, but he did not sign and he was eventually taken by the Boston red Sox with the 12th overall pick of the 1994 MLB Draft. The first glimpse of Nomar came in 1996 as ESPN and other networks focused in on Garciaparra’s numerous idiosyncrasies at the plate such as readjusting his batting gloves after each pitch and tapping each toe, one after the other, in the batters box, among others. In his rookie campaign, he was a unanimous choice for the American League Rookie of the Year as he batted .306 and led the league in at-bats (684), hits (209) and triples (11). He set Major League records for RBI by a leadoff hitter and set a rookie shortstop record with 30 home runs earning his only Silver Slugger and his first of six All-Star appearances.
He was one of many premier shortstops that entered the Majors around the same time along with Derek Jeter, Omar Vizquel, Edgar Renteria and Royce Clayton. Nomar spent eight and a half seasons in the Boston lineup (1996-2004), led the league in double in 2002 and won the 1999 and 2000 batting titles with .357 and .372 batting averages, respectively. With new ownership in Boston and Garciaparra battling injuries and declining numbers, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs (2004-2005), then played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (2006-2008) and finished his career with the Oakland Athletics (2009). Over his 14 years career, Garciaparra batted above the .300 mark nine times and in 2006, after two years of limited play and marginal numbers, Nomar was named the Comeback Player of the Year with the Dodgers batting .303 with 20 home runs and 93 RBI. Nomar Garciaparra finished his career with a .313 career batting average, 1,747 hits including 229 home runs, 927 runs 95 stolen bases and 936 RBI. He posted a .975 career fielding percentage in 1,360 games.