Is newly retired Nomar Garciaparra a Hall of Famer?

1992 Topps Traded Gold BGS 9

When news came out Wednesday that Nomar Garciaparra was announcing his retirement, I echoed the sentiment that many others had — didn’t he already leave the game?

Fact is Nomar Garciaparra has been a shell of his former self for much of the last decade, thanks in large part to a string of injuries that led him to be bounced around the league. It seems like forever since we were discussing Nomar in the same breath with Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. Oh yes, those were the times. The holy trilogy of 1990s shortstops, the three baseball youngsters who were going to bring the sport into the new decade.

I’m going to say thing right now: Nomar’s career numbers are not overwhelming. But when you look at a six- or seven-year window, Nomar was a very dominant offensive shortstop.

From 1997 to 2003, Nomar collected 1,260 hits (his average was better than 190 hits per year if you eliminate the 2001 season that ended after just 21 games), 174 home runs, 674 RBIs and a .320 batting average that reached .357 in 1999 and .372 in 2000.

A basic year for him would have been at least .320 average, 25 homers, 95 RBIs and about 105 runs.

His career accolades include: American League Rookie of the Year (1997), runner-up for Most Valuable Player (1998),  six all-star selections, a silver slugger award and two American League batting titles.

Is that not enough to get into the hall?

And before you answer and say no because his numbers pale in comparison to Alex Rodriguez; you must consider that Rodriguez is a no-brainer Hall of Famer, regardless of the steroid use. To compare A-rod and Nomar is like comparing a Rolex to a Citizen watch — both are of good quality, only one is considered head and shoulders above the rest.

By no means am I saying Nomar is a first-ballot kind of player. Hell, I don’t even think he is a fifth-ballot kind of guy. But somehow, someway I think Nomar gets into Cooperstown. And I think the fact that much of his achievements came with one of the most beloved franchises in the game will only help him.

3 Responses to “Is newly retired Nomar Garciaparra a Hall of Famer?”

  1. He’s not even close to a Hall of Famer for the same reasons that my favorite player as a kid (Don Mattingly) isn’t even close. Both of them were great players, but not for nearly the amount of time that would be required for a Hall of Famer. The only reason that either would even be considered is because of the media’s love affair with anything having to do with the New Bostork Yank Sox.

  2. Alex Chipman Says:

    Look, He didn’t have the greatest numbers. But when you look at what he did for the Red Sox in the late 90’s and early 00’s, he was amazing. Not only did he help a team get to the ALCS, but he made himself one of the hardest outs in baseball. The first pitch is more than half the time a strike. As a first pitch swinger, this made pitchers worry about getting a pitch over. He hit countless lead off homeruns, and rivaled Jeter and A-rod in those years. He won a silver slugger, placed second in MVP rankings, was a six time all-star, and was arguably the one player who ushered that good Red Sox team of the late 90’s and early 00’s to the modern era in which they became truly and undeniably dominant.

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