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Is newly retired Nomar Garciaparra a Hall of Famer?

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

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.