Nomar enjoys return to Dodger Stadium
A's infielder says park always rekindles fond memories
LOS ANGELES -- In honor of Nomar Garciaparra's first visit to Dodger Stadium as a member of the Oakland A's, the former Dodgers player had a small gift waiting for him in the visitor's clubhouse.
Sitting in his locker -- courtesy of an unnamed Dodgers employee -- was a bronze Garciaparra that looked like it was straight out of Cooperstown.
"No, I hadn't found out the whole story yet," Garciaparra said of his metallic likeness. "I've got to go over there [and talk to someone]. I think they just made one and I was a sample."
Garciaparra had been a member of the Dodgers for the past three seasons before signing a one-year contract with Oakland on March 6.
In his three years with the Dodgers, Garciaparra hit .289 with 35 home runs and 180 RBIs in 298 games. He was also named the National League Comeback Player of the Year in 2006, his first season at Los Angeles.
Garciaparra said that it's nice to return to Los Angeles and reunite with his former teammates and catch up with some of the people who work at the park.
And there's also the fact that every visit to Dodger Stadium brings back memories of all the trips Garciaparra took as a kid to watch the Dodgers play.
"Every time I pull into Dodger Stadium, I've always had a good feeling," he said. "It always reminds me of when I was a kid, coming here to watch games. That feeling doesn't leaves you."
Garciaparra also said that his troublesome right calf is "hanging in there," and that he's "giving it whatever I can." Garciaparra was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list last Friday and went 1-for-3 in the three games since his return to action.
"It's a condition that I have that I have no control over," he said of his calf. "No surgery, there's nothing I can do about it. Just got live with it."
Garciaparra has appeared in 17 games this season and has 13 hits in 51 at-bats.
David Ely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.