© 2006 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

09/19/06 6:53 PM ET

Garciaparra chats about walk-off homer

Dodgers first baseman fields questions online

Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra chatted online Tuesday afternoon about his dramatic walk-off homer to put the Dodgers back in first place in the NL West, the switch to first base, improving his game and playing in the American and National Leagues.

Nomar Garciaparra: Thank you for joining in the chat, for your support and always being there following the Dodgers. Let's get started.

adan_jaramillo: Nomar, I am a big fan. Is last night's walk-off homer the most exciting moment of your Dodger career?

Garciaparra: It was definitely a great moment and I've been fortunate to have a lot of great ones, but this one definitely ranks up there.

Amy_Pidancet: Do you still get nervous before you step out onto the baseball field at the beginning of the games?

Garciaparra: Yes. Every day.

emanuele_martufi: How different is switching from shortstop to first base? Do you think you'll be fine at shortstop anymore in your career or not?

Garciaparra: I don't know what the future holds. It's definitely not an easy transition and I'm still learning, but as long as I'm playing baseball, no matter what position I'm playing, that's all that matters.

junts: Great job last night. You seem to be one of the leaders of this team in the locker room. Who else has stepped up as one of those leaders, and what have you all said or done to Andre Ethier to help him get out of his slump this month?

Garciaparra: I think we have a lot of guys who just lead by example. That is what's great about when you get to this level, you don't need one particular leader. You need a whole team effort.

etennyson: I am not going to lie. Nomar, you made me cry last night. That was spectacular. Having grown up around LA and having been a Dodgers fan when you were young, how does it feel to be part of a game compared to the Gibson home run game in '88? Thanks.

Garciaparra: I don't know if I could compare it to that, but it's just special when you see the support of these great fans. Growing up and being one of those fans and now being on that field and to be part of such a great organization, it's just a thrill every day I put the uniform on.

mikeyp33metsrule: Why do you wear No. 5?

Garciaparra: I've worn it since I was a little kid. I've been lucky enough to wear it throughout my career. I think it was because it was my dad's favorite number, so I wore it back then.

miraclemets05: How does a win like last night's affect the team chemistry and next few games, especially this late in September?

Garciaparra: I just think a win like that shows the resiliency of the team throughout the year. It just keeps a positive attitude that you need to maintain, especially this late in the season.

cubsfan1357: Are you superstitious when you come up to bat or do you just do all your things for fun?

Garciaparra: I do that more as a routine and comfort. It's not a superstition.

sampi: What kind of exercises are good for a baseball player at the gym?

Garciaparra: Oh gosh. There's a lot. There are too many just to name. I think the best one is to be able to do certain shoulder exercises with very light dumbbells, three-to-five pounds. That will help take care of your shoulders.

Robert_Guzman: Nomar, what did you eat for breakfast Monday morning?

Garciaparra: I don't remember, actually. I skipped breakfast.

emanuele_martufi: Do you still think about improving your game? In which aspect or fundamental?

Garciaparra: I'm always thinking about improving my game in every aspect. You never stop learning. You never stop trying to improve.

Amy_Pidancet: What are you thinking before you step up to an at-bat as intense and important as the at-bat of the 10th inning of last night?

Garciaparra: I think when you step up, you just think about little things that can help the team win. Last night, I was just trying to keep that inning alive.

Caitlin_Buckley: Hi, Nomar. I'm a Red Sox fan who misses you terribly. I was just wondering if you miss the Red Sox and still keep in touch with any of your old teammates?

Garciaparra: Yes, I keep in touch with my teammates and there will always be a place in my heart for the Red Sox and the fans in Boston. It was the organization where I first played.

cubsfan1357: I am a young Cubs fan and I really wish things had worked out in Chicago. Anyway, did you feel like you hit a postseason home run last night?

Garciaparra: You know, I don't know if it felt like a postseason home run. The biggest thing about it was that we won that game as a team. Just being a part of all the key hits we had throughout the game, and to be able to be a part of that -- whether it's a postseason win or a win like that during the season, it's still great.

etennyson: Really, tell us the truth: Dodger Dogs or Fenway Franks?

Garciaparra: To be quite honest, I never had a Fenway Frank, because I never sat in the stands. But I had plenty of Dodger Dogs growing up, so I'd have to pick the Dodger Dog.

emanuele_martufi: Nomar, I'm an Italian Dodgers fan. What are the main differences between wearing a Red Sox uniform and the blue one? Greetings from Rome, have you ever been here?

Garciaparra: Yes, I have been to Rome and I love it. The biggest difference between the uniforms is that one is red and one is blue.

razorwirekiss: You seemed pretty emotional last night. Is there anything off the field that feels like that to you?

Garciaparra: Yeah, whenever I get to hang out with my family and friends.

gammahombre: Nomar, I met you at The Home Depot while I was working there and you were one of the nicest and most easy-going individuals I have ever met, athlete or not. How are you able to stay so humble and not let your fame affect you?

Garciaparra: My family and friends. I surround myself with just great family and friends. I'm lucky enough to have them.

Robert_Guzman: About the poncho you wore for Cinco De Mayo, where did you get it and where can I get one?

Garciaparra: (Laugh). One of my uncles gave it to my father and then I got it. I don't know where he got it.

bluecrew4life: How's the quad feeling?

Garciaparra: It's pretty sore but you deal with it.

cubsfan1357: How did you feel when you received a World Series ring from the Red Sox even after you got traded to the Cubs mid-season?

Garciaparra: It was great receiving it from my teammates and friends. Even during the Series, they were calling me and made me feel a part of it and receiving the ring made me feel a part of it, too.

gammahombre: Nomar, being married to Mia Hamm, how closely do you watch soccer, and if so, do you and Mia have any particular teams you root for here or abroad?

Garciaparra: We watch soccer quite a bit. We like watching the English Premiere League. We don't have one particular favorite team, but we do like watching the matches.

conrad_garcia: Is Garciaparra your father and mother's last name?

Garciaparra: No. It all comes from my dad's side. It was combined generations ago on my dad's side.

tech1219: What do you do to unwind when your not playing baseball?

Garciaparra: Walk along the beach.

thome00: Nomar, how difficult is it to be on the road for a long time and then come home and have an outstanding game like yesterday?

Garciaparra: Road trips in general are hard, especially with such a long season. It's just always good to come home and play in front of your home fans.

conrad_garcia: Nomar, where did you play Little League? I played in City Terrace.

Garciaparra: I grew up in Whittier, so I played in Little Leagues around that area. I never played in City Terrace, though.

nymets1011: How is it playing for manager Grady Little?

Garciaparra: He is a great manager for which to play. He is so supportive and he has a great knowledge for the game.

legoshoe: Nomar, congratulations on your team's success this year. I'm a public achievement coach at Minnesota State for middle school students. How does your own work with the community affect you personally? Keep up the great work in the community.

Garciaparra: I've always been so embraced by the communities that I have played in. To be able to give something back, it's truly something that I feel blessed to be able to do.

bennymiesters: Do you enjoy it more in the National or American League?

Garciaparra: I do believe they're different games. It is a different game. I just think I'm more of a traditionalist and I do like it when the pitcher gets to hit.

terrell2wake: Did your wife get to see you play last night?

Garciaparra: Yes, she did.

jmerz: Can you beat Mia at golf?

Garciaparra: Nope. She's very good.

brian_farrington: How does it feel being in contention with a lot of familiar faces?

Garciaparra: It's good to be in a pennant race just because that's what we work for. That's why we play the long season. You believe you should be here from Day 1, just like the other teams believe they should be here, too.

wewillwinthewest: Who in the clubhouse do you hang out with on a regular basis?

Garciaparra: Everybody, actually.

rgs321: How do you keep yourself from getting fatigued towards the end of the season?

Garciaparra: A lot of training and hard work in the offseason.

Michael_Floros: Nomar, we miss you in New England. Go Dodgers. What do you think is the most important part of hitting? What hitting drills do you suggest for me, a 10-year-old player?

Garciaparra: First and foremost is seeing the ball and keeping your eye on the ball. I always like working off a tee and moving the tee around the plate.

Moderator: Two more before Nomar has to go get ready for the game.

terrell2wake: Put into words what Marlon Anderson has meant to you guys in just a few weeks?

Garciaparra: He's been a great addition to our team. He's fit in so well with both the way he's been playing and the way he is in the clubhouse. He's a great asset.

t55ball: How did it feel when you rounded second base and saw your teammates standing at home waiting for you last night?

Garciaparra: I couldn't wait to get to them. It was a truly great feeling. I couldn't wait to hug them all. That truly was a team win.

Garciaparra: Thank you guys so much for taking part in this chat and for your support all season.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.