The story of Daniel Nava continues to grow into one for the ages. Nava persevered through many obstacles and his hard work culminated in the greatest reward of all last night, hoisting the World Series Trophy.
Nava, a St Francis High School product came to College of San Mateo in the fall of 2003 looking for a fresh start. After a good high school career Nava attempted to walk on to the baseball team at Santa Clara University where he would get told he could be the equipment manager. The minute Nava stepped on the campus in San Mateo he made a major impact both on the field and in the classroom. Nava would hit .403 with 81 runs batted in while a Bulldog and excel academically. After two All-American years at CSM, Nava transferred back to Santa Clara for one year where he led the team in hitting with a .395 mark and did not make an error as a Bronco.
After college Nava was not picked up by any Major League Organization and began the search to play Independent baseball. The search would not be easy as Nava went to Chico where he was told he would not make the team. A week later a spot opened up and they asked Nava to tryout again. The Outlaws would give Nava a chance, one they would not regret as Nava would lead the Golden Baseball League in hitting, help the Outlaws win a championship, and be rated as the top prospect in Independent Baseball by Baseball America.
The Red Sox would give Nava a chance by purchasing his contract for one dollar. The odds, again, were against him, but the dream was still alive. Nava would again make the best of his opportunities as he would shoot through the minors and would get his call to the big leagues. The first pitch Nava would see headed deep into the bleachers at Fenway Park for a grand slam.
Nava bounced up and down until the 2013 season where he would become a mainstay. After the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon, the Red Sox became a boost to the city and the slogan Boston Strong would carry the citizens. In the first game in Fenway after the bombings, Nava defined Boston Strong and uplifted the entire city with a three run homerun in the bottom of the 8th that would give the Red Sox a 4-2 victory and, more importantly, a city something to celebrate in a time of turmoil.
Nava would have a phenomenal year hitting .303 which put him in the top 10 in hitting in the American League and added 12 homeruns and drove in 66. An already amazing story would culminate in one unbelievable cherry on top as Nava would be a part of the 2013 World Series Champion Red Sox and do what very few have ever done in wearing a World Series Ring.