Nomar Garciaparra on M&M: ‘Means so much to me’ to be elected to Red Sox Hall of Fame
|02.05.14 at 12:03 pm ET|
Nomar Garciaparra and Joe Castiglione, who on Wednesday were named as part of the 2014 class elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame, checked in with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to discuss the honor. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Garciaparra, the former Sox shortstop, and Castiglione, the team’s longtime radio broadcaster, will be enshrined in August along with pitching legends Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens. Martinez’s one-hit, 17-strikeout performance against the Yankees on Sept. 10, 1999, was selected as this year’s “Great Red Sox Moment.”
“What a class to be inducted with, with Pedro and Roger,” Garciaparra said. “It’s definitely special.”
Said Castiglione: “It certainly is a ‘Can you believe it?’ moment for me. … It’s such a thrill to be going in with Nomar, who’s the best all-around player I’ve covered in 31 years of Red Sox baseball, [and] the two greatest pitchers in franchise history.
“And as far as Roger goes, I think a tip-off to how much the Red Sox mean to him, I was about to get on a duck boat November 2nd and I got a text from Roger saying, ‘Congratulations to you and all of the Red Sox on the world championship — 21.’ So it was very meaningful to him.”
Garciaparra, the 1997 American League Rookie of the Year, was a five-time All-Star during his nine seasons in Boston. He was traded midseason in 2004 after a falling-out with management, but he said the team still holds a special place in his heart.
“You mention about [the] trade and how I felt, people will ask me, and I’ve heard, ‘Oh, he was bitter.’ If I was so bitter — I don’t know how much more to explain how much I love the Red Sox and the Nation other than signing a one-day [contract] and retiring as a Red Sox. I wanted to do that,” Garciaparra said. “I don’t know what other action, what I could say more about what the Red Sox mean to me, the organization, the fans and what they all meant to me. That, first and foremost, I think, speaks volumes.
“And now, to be honored like this? Like I said, this is unexpected. I never thought about this or played for this. But to be recognized like this, I’m lost for words. Because it really means so much to me. There was a moment where I was just kind of sitting by myself and I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness, I’m getting inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.’ And what that truly does mean to me, I’m not going to lie, I started tearing up. Because it means that much.”
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