Nomar Garciaparra welled up with tears as he talked about his love of the Boston fans. Garciaparra, who spoke to the media for about 20 minutes this afternoon, returns to Boston for the first time since being dealt by the Red Sox to the Cubs in a three-team deal that helped the Sox win the '04 World Series.
Garciaparra said he regretted not being able to say what he felt to the fans because he was traded while the team was in Minneapolis, and he was asked what he would say to the fans if he could.
"I love 'em. I love the way they treated me," said Garciaparra, whose eyes were filled with tears. "I'm getting emotional because when I was gone Boston fans were everywhere. I can't say how many times I heard, 'Thank you. Thank you for all you did.' Even today I was walking down Newbury Street a guy came up to me and shook my hand and looked me in the eye and said 'Thank you for all you did.' And I just looked at him and said, 'No ... Thank you.'
"I can't believe what a wonderful experience I had here."
Did he wish he could have played his whole career here?
"Always. The minute I put that uniform on I dreamed I was gonna start my career in Boston and end my career in Boston. I still have that dream. The only difference from the original dream is that I wasn't supposed to put another uniform on. But that dream is still there."
The way it ended? Did he wish it could have been different?
"I think what often gets lost, we have so much passion and emotion surrounding this organization, what gets lost was the business side. The business side isn't always great," Garciaparra said.