After changing teams and leagues, Garciaparra got a huge ovation from Chicago fans at Wrigley on Sunday during stretching, pregame introductions and every at-bat.
“The ovation I got, things like that you’ll never forget,” said Garciaparra, who was traded from Boston to Chicago in a blockbuster four-team deal Saturday. “That stuff stays with your heart.”
The two-time AL batting champion grounded into a double play in his first at-bat but he had an RBI single in the seventh and made two good defensive plays as the Cubs rallied to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-3 on Sunday.
“We’re glad we got him on our team. Nomar has been one of the best shortstops in the game for a while now,” said Cubs starter Greg Maddux, who did not receive a decision in his first bid for 300 wins.
Chicago, which has won five of seven, hopes the addition of Garciaparra will help them secure the NL Wild Card spot.
The Cubs are 10 1/2 games behind St. Louis for first place in the NL Central. However, they trail San Diego by just one game in the wild-card race.
Garciaparra has struggled with an Achilles’ injury all season. He hit .321 with five home runs and 21 RBIs in just 38 games for Boston before the trade.
The Cubs begin a six-game road trip against the Rockies, who have won eight out of their last 10 games.
“When you are going good, most guys will hit the ball where it is pitched,” said Burnitz, who hit .360 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs in July. “The most important thing is to get good pitches to swing at, and lately, I have been getting some good pitches and executing.”