Nomar is expected to start for the Chiefs all three days after participating in live action games with the Rookie Level Mesa Cubs over the weekend, his first action since April. The Cubs are hopeful that Garciaparra can rejoin the team by August 1st if all goes well on his rehab assignment.
The All-Star shortstop had just 51 at-bats in 2005 before his injury and was batting .157 with four RBI. Currently in his 10th Major League Season, Nomar is a career .320 hitter with 182 home runs, 299 doubles and 714 RBI. Drafted by the Boston Red Sox with the 12th overall selection in the 1994 draft out of Georgia Tech, Nomar blew through the minors and made his Major League debut August 31st, 1996. He was the 1997 AL Rookie of the Year after leading the league in hits and triples while batting .306 with 30 homers. In each of his first four full seasons, Nomar finished in the top 10 in voting for the American League MVP Award while leading the Red Sox to the playoffs in 1998 and 1999.
The five-time AL All-Star led the American League in batting average in 1999 with a .357 average and again in 2000 with a .372 average. He also led the league in doubles in 2002 with 56 and has never batted below .300 in a season in which he has played more than 80 games. The popular shortstop was acquired by the Cubs July 31st, 2004 in a three team deal that also brought current Cubs outfielder Matt Murton to Chicago. In 43 games with the Cubs in 2004, Nomar batted .297 with four homers and 20 RBI.
Garciaparra also made news off the field in 2004 with his marriage to world famous soccer star Mia Hamm. The couple are one of sports most popular duos and Hamm was recently honored with Mia Hamm Day at Wrigley Field in Chicago after she announced her retirement from International competition.
Tickets are available for all three games in which Garciaparra is expected to play. Tickets can be purchased in person at the O’Brien Field Box Office, by calling 1-866-MYTICKET or through the team website at www.peoriachiefs.com. Tuesday July 26th is Taco Bell Combo Tuesday at O’Brien Field where anyone who purchases a same day combo meal at a Peoria area Taco Bell gets two free box seats to that nights game. Wednesday July 27th the first 1500 fans get an Albert Pujols collectible baseball which is number four in a five ball set sponsored by Pepsi. Thursday July 28th is Budweiser Thirsty Thursday with $1.50 draft beers and also Dukes of Hazzard Night with an appearance by a replica General Lee car.
The other thre Chiefs who have rehabbed at O’Brien Field in a Midwest League game were Garrett Stephenson and Steve Kline in 2002 and catcher Joe Girardi in 2003. Pitchers Jason Isringhausen and Jason Simontacchi pitched at O’Brien Field in 2003 against Bradley in a pre-season exhibition game.