There’s not many journeys I’ve enjoyed more than that of Daniel Nava.
Nava hit the national spotlight when he hit a grand slam off Joe Blanton in his first MLB at-bat. This was only the second time in the history of the game that this had been accomplished.
Undrafted after hitting .400 for the College of San Mateo and Santa Clara University, Nava took the route of many; Independent baseball.
In 2006, he was cut by the Chico Outlaws of the now defunct Golden Baseball League. Not letting that deter him, he returned for the 2007 season and made the Outlaws squad resulting in one of the most prolific Indy seasons in history.
In 72 games, Nava batted .371, with 12 home runs and 59 RBI. He had an OBP of over .470 and slugged nearly 630. Over a third of his 95 hits went for extra bases. He became the first GBL rookie to win MVP honors and Baseball America ranked him the top Indy prospect in America.
The Boston Red Sox took notice and purchased his rights from Chico for $1. I can’t help but laugh. It’s one of those one in a million scenarios that defies reason. A kid no one wanted becomes a key contributor and helps lead the Red Sox to a World Series championship (2013).
Since leaving the Red Sox organization, Nava’s played for multiple clubs including the Philadelphia Phillies in 2017 when he hit .301 in 80 games.
Unfortunately, back surgery has had him on the sidelines until he hooked up with the Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association.
Only time will tell if he’s got one final push to get back to the bigs, but if history has proven anything, Nava has the moxie to pull this off!