Return home to Bay Area a thrill to Nava

Return home to Bay Area a thrill to Nava

DENVER -- The feel-good story of Daniel Nava's introduction to the Majors will add another chapter on Friday, when the outfielder plays at San Francisco. Nava grew up in the Bay Area as a Giants fan.

"I've been [to AT&T Park] a handful of times," said Nava. "It's usually about a half-hour away from me, and it's usually kind of cold, so I would just stay home and watch the game from my house. But I've been a handful of times."

Three years ago, the Red Sox purchased Nava from the Chico Outlaws -- an independent league team -- for the initial acquisition cost of $1. Nava, who started his collegiate career as an equipment manager, rose through the ranks in Boston's farm system the past couple of years.

Nava was promoted to the Red Sox on June 12 and became the second player in Major League history to hit a grand slam on the first pitch of his career.

Nava has hardly stopped contributing since then. He entered Thursday's game hitting .382 with one homer and 10 RBIs.

"However they got here, the whole idea is for people to help us win," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He's done a terrific job so far. He's actually given us a boost. I don't know that's always fair. You hope a guy comes up and kind of holds his own. This kid has done a terrific job.

"He swings at strikes. He looks like a mature hitter. He is a mature hitter. He just doesn't have big league experience -- that doesn't seem to be throwing him. He's handled himself really well."

Nava is looking forward to playing at San Francisco. He won't allow himself to get overwhelmed with ticket requests, saying that he will simply take care of his family.

"If you get a ticket for this friend, then this friend gets mad that you didn't get him a ticket," Nava said. "So I'm just getting tickets for my family. Everyone else, they're going to have to get their own tickets, unfortunately."