If you're not watching this afternoon's Red Sox game, then congratulations, you have a job! But you also missed the latest chapter in one of the true feel good stories of this generally dreary season:
The 29-year-old outfielder is obviously best known for what happened on the night June 12, 2010 when he was called up from Pawtucket and hit a grand slam on the first pitch of his major league career. He became only the second player in history to smack a salami on the first pitch he saw (Kevin Kouzmanoff is other) and quickly became the talk of the town.
The more we learned about Nava, the more we liked (for instance, the story about him and Erin Andrews), but sadly, he didn't stick. The Sox sent him back to minors in July, and while he did have a few more sips of coffee that season, he never made an impact, and NEVER hit another home run in 160 subsequent at-bats.
The following year (aka last May), Nava was designated for assignment, and passed through waivers without a sniff. As a result, he returned to Pawtucket, but you had to figure that was it for his Major League career. One pitch, one grand slam. And that's wrap.
That wasn't a wrap.
After playing through a full minor league season without a call from the big boys, and after just about every other outfielder in the organization was struck down with injury this season Nava got another chance.
On May 14, he started in left field for the Sox
. . . and hasn't left the line-up since.
Coming into today, Nava was hitting .324 on the year, with one home run (which came 171 at-bats after that first one) and 10 RBI. He's not making a case for an All-Star nod, but he's been all kinds of consistent, and played a legitimate role in the Sox recent stretch of victories.
He's taken this unlikely latest opportunity to play in the big leagues and run like the wind.
And that brings us back to this afternoon.
It's the top of the sixth, with the scored tied at two, and Daniel Nava drives a 2-0 pitch out of Camden Yards. A solo homer to give the Sox a 3-2.
It was the second homer of Nava's season, the third of his career, and for all we know it may very well be his last. But for now, the feel good story only gets better. If only Erin Andrews could see him now.
Oh right, she can.