Nomar stocks up on first baseman mitts

Updated: February 17, 2006, 6:21 PM ET
Associated Press

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Los Angeles Dodgers newcomer Nomar Garciaparra could open up his own sporting goods store -- so long as it specialized in first baseman's mitts.

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"I've got a stack of them," Garciaparra said Friday. "I'm trying to get a feel for what I like and don't like."

Garciaparra is test driving an assortment of first baseman's gloves to find the right make and model to use this season as he makes the transition from shortstop to first base.

Finding the right glove could be the most important thing Garciaparra does this spring.

"I need to feel comfortable," he said. "[Adjusting to first base] is a work in progress. Every position is different, different angles, different movements, everything. It's not going to be easy and I never thought it would be."

Garciaparra, who signed as a free agent in December, worked out at first base for the second straight day during pitchers' fielding practice. So far, he looks comfortable and manager Grady Little said he's pleased with what he's seen.

"He looked all right," said Little, who managed Garciaparra in Boston from 2002-03. "It's a new position and a new kind of glove. I know he's trying out different models."

As Garciaparra took the field, his wife, former U.S. soccer star Mia Hamm, looked on.

There has been speculation that he could move to the outfield if the Dodgers want to put Cesar Izturis at second base, after he recovers from Tommy John surgery, and switch Jeff Kent to first base. But Little said Garciaparra is expected to see time exclusively at first base during camp.

"That's a handful for any individual," Little said of the learning process.

Dominican RHP Franquelis Osoria reported Friday after a two-day delay caused by visa problems. RHP Yhency Brazoban still has not worked out his visa problems and remains in the Dominican Republic. ...OF Jason Repko and 1B Hee-Seop Choi checked in Friday ahead of the Feb. 20 reporting date for position players.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press