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Everyone knows the great story of Daniel Nava. A similar story as Tim Thomas, Nava had to fight to get where he is today. Nava was an undrafted player, who played independent baseball through his early twenties. For most players, they grow in the minor leagues and hope to work for their chance at the majors by the time they are in their mid twenties. Nava finally got his chance in 2008 when he was signed by the Red Sox and sent to Single-A ball where he would start his journey to the MLB.
At 25, Nava was an older player in single-A ball, but worked as hard for promotions and finally made it to Triple-A at 27 years old. After parts of three seasons in the minors, Nava burst on the scene hitting a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in the Majors. Fast-forward a few years and Nava is an every day outfielder for She Sox and putting up numbers worthy of All-Star consideration.
Nava has been consistent all year offensively and has improved his defense since he came up in 2010. On a down year for stars like Josh Hamilton, Nava looked like he was in line for an a trip to the All-Star game leading all outfielders in RBI for most of the first half of the season. At this point Nava is hitting .294 with 10 HR and 50 RBI, which puts him fourth in average among outfielders and fifth in RBI. With a great story, good numbers, and a classy player, there are not many players more deserving of the honor of representing his team at an All-Star game. But once again, Nava was overlooked by everyone and was not voted into the game by the fans.
Nobody is arguing that he should be on the team over players like Mike Trout or Adam Jones, but their are outfielders on the team like Alex Gordon who is below Nava in every category. Not to take anything away from Gordon who is a good player, but with a .293 average, 9 HR and 47 RBI, he should not be voted in over Nava. Torii Hunter is another player who has a better average, but less HR and RBI than Nava and was voted in.
If someone asked Nava how he felt, I am sure he would downplay it and say it isn’t a big deal. With how good the Sox have been this year, the team seems to have their eyes set on winning the division and a deep playoff run. Red Sox fans appreciate Nava and will continue to support him regardless if he is an All-Star or not. But for a great guy and a great story, it would be nice for him to get the recognition that he deserves. Torii Hunter has had a great career, but has made plenty of All-Star games. This is a year that MLB fans outside of Boston should have been able to see how good Nava has become.