Sunday Spotlight: Nomar Garciaparra
Nomar Garciaparra! Nifty, nimble, and namerific!
As the first feature on Curionomastics, I have chosen a childhood hero. As a big Red Sox fan, I followed all of the greats in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including Mo Vaughn, Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, and Pedro Martinez, but Nomar was my favorite player. With his agile moves, odd pre-batting ritual, his lopsided smile, and his offbeat name, there’s no wonder that Kiddie Tee, always attracted to the quirky and peculiar, was immediately drawn to Nomar.
After earning an American League Rookie of the Year award in 1997, Nomar Garciaparra went on to become an All Star six times! He played for the Red Sox from 1997 until 2004, then was traded to the Cubs, and later the Dodgers and Athletics (although he signed a one day contract with his original team at the end of his career so he could retire with the Red Sox). One of the greatest shortstops to ever play the game, he had to suffer through repeated injuries, but he still came out with some of the highest stats of his position.
Nomar’s Trivia Trio:
- He attended Georgia Tech and played more games than any other baseballer from that school, except another namelty, Del Pratt.
- He once saved two women who had fallen into Boston Harbor.
- He married Mia Hamm in 2003 and the couple have twin daughters and a young son. Their children’s names (knew you would ask): Grace Isabella, Ava Caroline and Garrett Anthony.
Nomar is actually his middle name, as he was born Anthony Nomar Garciaparra, but he has always gone by the unusual moniker. How’d he get it? Nomar is actually Ramon spelled backwards, which is his father’s name. Ramon, a Catalan/Spanish version of Raymond which means ‘advisor and protector,’ certainly fits the talented father of three, but Nomar has an unusual ring to it that works on the whimsical shortstop so much better.
Garciaparra is probably of Italian or Spanish origin. Nomar himself is a California native of Mexican-American descent. Related to Garcia, Garzia, and Garzadori, Garciaparra is sometimes split into two names to read as Garcia Parra. It is a distinguished last name that combines so smoothly with Nomar and makes it enjoyable to say aloud. Go ahead, try it.
Thanks for tuning in for my first Sunday Spotlight. I have many more planned, as well as a bunch of interim posts for days between. Please subscribe to Curionomastics so you don’t miss a single post about the wonderful world of names and the amazing people who wear them.