Obscure Athletes

Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End

Have I told you how much I love Daniel Nava?

I love professional baseball journeymen. AAAA players who spend huge amounts of time in the minors, and we only see them when we wind up roster spots for some reason. Chris Carter comes to mind. AAAA players are a beautiful tease, as they are characterized by great minor league production, but spotty playing time in the majors. Players like, my boy Daniel Nava.

What do this man, named Bill Duggleby and Daniel Nava have in common? I knew nothing about both of them one hour ago.

Nava became only the fourth player to hit a grand slam in his first at-bat in the majors, mere minutes ago–a distinction held also by teammate and future obscure athlete Jeremy Hermida. “The first one?,” you might ask. Bill Duggleby, of course, in 1898. Nava swung his way into the history books and the answer to endless trivia questions today; the slam came on the first pitch Nava saw.

Nava is so obscure, in fact, that he hadn’t even been to Fenway Park until last year when he played on everyone’s favorite Red Sox day off, at a promotion called ‘Futures at Fenway,’ in which the team swindles unreasonable ticket prices out of the general public in exchange for a minor league baseball game and ‘The Fenway Experience.’ But I digress.

A well-deserved curtain call for a player

This photo taken directly from the Daniel Nava scrapbook that he made the last time he was at Fenway. Seen here, in a class AA Portland Sea Dogs uniform.

 who will probably live on as an obscure athlete one day in the future, and as the answer to a trivia question. Oh, and did anyone see those two asshole Philly fans with Flyers t-shirts in the front row as he was giving his curtain call? I did, and I laughed heartily. Congrats Daniel Nava.

And then he struck out with the bases loaded in his second at-bat. Watch this kid, he has ‘future obscure athlete’ written all over him. But seriously, congrats.

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