The Cubs acquired Nomar Garciaparra with much fanfare and hoopla. Nomar was going to be the catalyst for the Cubs 2004 playoff run. The year they were supposed to finish what they failed to do in 2003. Well everybody knows what happened from that point on. The Cubs choked away the NL Wildcard the last week of 2004, all this while the Red Sox were beating the Yankees and Cardinals to capture the World Series. In 2005 Nomar was the Cactus League MVP. Nomar was going to be the new face of the Cubs in the “post-Sammy” era. But the fragile Garciaparra never made it out of April. By the time he returned to the lineup the Cubs were just playing out the season.
The image we will remember of Nomar as a Cub.
As a Cub fan it’s hard for me to remember a player acquired with so many hopes(maybe McGriff in 2001). Nomar instantly became a fan favorite with Cub fans. The hard part for us fans was to realize that we were not getting the 1999 or 2000 version of Nomar. The Cubs got a player that was beaten down by too many injuries.
Nomar now joins the ranks of the “what if” players that have worn the blue pinstripes. “What if” Nomar had been healthy in 2004 (my guess is the Theo Epstein would have never traded him). “What if” Nomar had been healthy all of 2005. It really does not matter, does it?
Nomar seems to be a nice guy. In his season and two months with the Cubs he represented the organization very well off of the field. Cub players said he was a good teammate. It’s too bad he didn’t stay healthy.
Good Luck Nomar in LA.