MZ19987_Nomar_002 Former Dodger and Red Sox infielder Nomar Garciaparra announced his
retirement from baseball this morning to become a commentator for ESPN’s
baseball broadcast team — mainly on “Baseball Tonight,” as well as on occasional games.

Garciaparra won the 1999 and 2000 American League batting titles and seemed on track for the Hall of Fame, but the 36-year-old was plagued by injuries in recent years. In his final season last year with Oakland, he started 35 games.

“I love talking about the game,” Garciaparra said, “and I think I found
myself just within the last couple of years, when I got more in that
utility role at the end of the career … here I was just talking the
game and trying to pass on this knowledge. Here’s another way to pass
that on as well.

“I go in there with an open mind knowing that it’s not easy,” he added.

Garciaparra is married to soccer legend Mia Hamm, who retired as the sport’s all-time leading scorer in 2004, and has twin daughters.

“I also am very lucky, because my family’s been so supportive, as well as having a wife who understands the sport and understands what retirement’s all about,” Garciaparra said. “At the same time, that’s not the only decision you base it on. I think I knew … you’ve done everything you can, and the grind it takes, I just couldn’t work out the way I know it takes to get to the level I need to compete at.”