Nomar Garciaparra, whose career tailed off because of injuries after leaving Boston, retired after 14 seasons today, signing a one-day contract with the Red Sox before heading for the TV studio.
The two-time American League batting champion will now don a jacket and tie as a member of ESPN's baseball crew, appearing mostly on Baseball Tonight.
Garciaparra, a six-time All-Star, says in recent years he's spent more time talking to younger players. Working on TV, he says, "is another way to pass on the knowledge. … I love talking about the game."
The infielder, who played 8 1/2 seasons in Boston before a 2004 trade to the Chicago Cubs, was a reserve for the Oakland Athletics last year, appearing in just 65 games, hitting .281 with three home runs and 16 RBI. He also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I hope to have a long career in broadcasting," Garciaparra said. "But it's not easy, and I've never thought it was." As potential role models on TV, he cites Harold Reynolds and Orel Herchiser as having done "a tremendous job" on-air.
Garciaparra, 36, exits with a .313 career batting average, with 229 homers, 936 RBI and six All-Star game selections, five as a shortstop for the Red Sox.-- By Mike Dodd and Michael Hiestand