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Daniel Nava hits grand slam in first major league at-bat

Jun 12, 2010, 5:29 PM EDT

UPDATE: Nava came up with the bases loaded again in the third inning, however he struck out. Too good to be true.

5:00 PM: If you aren’t watching this afternoon’s Phillies-Red Sox game, you just missed something pretty special. Daniel Nava, who was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, connected for a grand slam off Joe Blanton in his first major league at-bat in the bottom of the second inning. In fact, it was on the very first pitch he saw.

Nava is the fourth player in major league history to hit a grand slam in his first at-bat in the big leagues. He’s the first to do it since Kevin Kouzmanoff on Sept. 2, 2006.

Nava became the 10th player in Red Sox history to hit a home run in his first major league
at-bat. The last (and only other) player to hit a grand slam in his first Red Sox at-bat was Rip Repulski on May 10, 1960.

Nava, 27, has a .342/.434/.545 batting line over four seasons in the minor leagues. If you’d like to learn more about the rookie outfielder’s incredible story, check out this piece by Tony Lee of NESN.com. He’s a real story to root for.

  1. Old Gator - Jun 12, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    Rip…Ripulski? You’ve got to be kidding – someone really went through life with a name like that? Sounds like a character out of Gravity’s Rainbow.

  2. uncle jumpy - Jun 12, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    Let’s not make too much of it , after all Fenway has the dimensions of a little league park in places.

  3. jeff - Jun 12, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    and the big green monster that prevents homers that would be out in every other park in the league. let’s look at the whole picture if we’re gonna criticize the place.

  4. Bobby Townsend - Jun 12, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    “IN PLACES” Would you like to be more specific? He hit the ball about 400 ft into the bullpen. Have you ever been to Fenway and if so, describe what sounds to be a dreadful experience for you? It couldn’t possibly be as dreadful as your post.

  5. JBerardi - Jun 12, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    “Let’s not make too much of it , after all Fenway has the dimensions of a little league park in places.”

    His home run was hit to deep right field. 400+ feet on a cool, rainy day.

  6. gazzzmann - Jun 12, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    Uncle jumpy!!! if you really followed baseball you would have known that Curt Shilling would not agree to be traded to the Sox untill he was made aware that its not and easy homerun park

  7. JBerardi - Jun 12, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    This is true. Fenway is a good hitters park, but not a good home run park. According to ESPN’s park factors, Fenway is the best park in baseball to hit a double in, but that’s as far as it goes. It’s actually somewhat worse than average for hitting home runs.

  8. Smith - Jun 12, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Fenway is an over sentimentalized garbage dump

  9. Melody - Jun 12, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    Saw the game, it was a nice moment. It was great to watch the NESN guys slowly figure out what a great story it was as they discovered that Nava’s parents had just barely made it to the park in time to see the game, and that the kid had been “washing uniforms!” on his college team. Hopefully it’s one of many good games he’ll have at Fenway.

  10. John from Concord - Jun 12, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    Spoken like someone who has never been there. Try it, you’ll like it. There aren’t too many parks left that aren’t injection-molded “family entertainment centers”. If you want to watch baseball, there’s nowhere finer.

  11. JBerardi - Jun 12, 2010 at 9:05 PM

    Ever been to a game there, Smith?

  12. josh - Jun 13, 2010 at 12:08 AM

    Its impossible to like baseball and not like the Daniel Nava story. A good interview by the folks at SP posted at ESPN: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/2090/meet-daniel-nava-the-best-red-sox-minor-leaguer-you%E2%80%99ve-never-heard-of
    Didn’t play much in HS, didn’t make college team as a walk-on freshman, takes a year off after college (undrafted of course), indy ball, works his way hitting every step and GS in first pitch in majors. Just awesome story.

  13. kanock - Jun 13, 2010 at 2:32 AM

    Good for him , but my question is, why did it take him so long to get the call ? it’s not like the Sox have a bundle of good outfielders . If they did they wouldn’t get an old middle of the road outfielder like Mike Cameron . Is it possible they missed Nava as a prospect , or more likely did he just get lucky . Time will tell just what he has .

  14. uncle jumpy - Jun 13, 2010 at 2:41 AM

    Who cares about curt schilling ? he’s a back stabbing liar . Just like that phony bloody sock scam he pulled , what a low life . schilling has no credibility with me . So much so that I won’t use caps for his name . I have another name for him .

  15. uncle jumpy - Jun 13, 2010 at 2:47 AM

    Oh my ! that must mean the Sox are ready to make a run at the Rays and Yankees . I’m sure Nava will make the difference . Yeah right , If they play well , third or fourth will be the best they will do .

  16. Pico - Jun 13, 2010 at 2:54 AM

    ” Ever been to a game there ” Why would anyone want to be around those moronic fans of theirs ? they have to be the nastiest , and crudest fans in sport . I couldn’t imagine having to look and listen to their nasty fans . Heaven forbid .

  17. JBerardi - Jun 13, 2010 at 3:04 AM

    Kanock, they hardly “missed” Nava; they’re the team that signed him out of indie ball (when anyone could have had him). And since that time, they’ve promoted him pretty aggressively. Nava had never played above AA before this year; whereas the other outfielders that the Red Sox have called up this year have all had previous MLB experience.

  18. JBerardi - Jun 13, 2010 at 3:10 AM

    Not my experience at all. The fans at Fenway tend to be quite friendly, not to mention incredibly enthusiastic, energetic and engaged. In fact, ‘d say that the fans are really the best reason to attend a game at Fenway.

  19. JBerardi - Jun 13, 2010 at 3:13 AM

    I don’t think anyone is saying that Daniel Nava is going to power the Red Sox past the Yankees and Rays. But his homerun today was a legit shot.

  20. brat - Jun 13, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    WOW! Nava is the next Kevin Kouzmanoff. Enjoy your cup of kawfee.

  21. Joey B - Jun 13, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    “Ever been to a game there, Smith?”
    I seriously doubt it. Every ball park built in America in the past 20 years (except YS) studied the Fenway fenomenon and modeled the new parks after Fenway. Most of the critics are HS dropouts who would’ve bulldozed Grand Central Terminal to put up a KMart.

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