Two awesome home run feats have occurred for Independent Baseball players in recent days.
I realize the word awesome is pretty strong, but it really does fit in these instances.
Daniel Nava, only the 34th player since the Indy game started in 1993 to begin his professional career at that level and advance to the major leagues, became the second player ever regardless of his background to hit a grand slam on the very first pitch he faced in the major leagues.
This feat occurred Saturday when the Boston Red Sox promoted Nava from Triple-A and he blasted a Joe Blanton pitch for a grand slam to erase a 2-1 deficit and lift the Red Sox to a 10-2 win over Philadelphia. Kevin Kouzmanoff had accomplished the feat in 2006, according to STATS LLC..
Nava, batting ninth, also doubled in four at-bats in front of his parents and the usual capacity crowd at Fenway Park.
The 27-year-old Nava had gone undrafted out of Santa Clara, and started his professional career in the Golden League in 2007. Playing for Chico, CA, he hit .371, was named the league MVP, helped the Outlaws to the league championship and was honored by Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect in the Independent game.
FIVE CONSECUTIVE HOMERS BY CRISTIAN GUERRERO IN NORTHERN LEAGUE
The other unbelieavable feat was accomplished by longtime minor league outfielder Cristian Guerrero, who homered on five consecutive at-bats for the Gary (IN) RailCats in a Northern League doubleheader.
Guerrero, the first cousin of major leaguers Vladimer and Wilton Guerrero, homered in his last two trips to the plate in Game 1 of a doubleheader, then came back with round-trippers in his first three at-bats in the nightcap.
The indication, to this point, is the feat may never have been accomplished previously in professional baseball.
Guerrero, 29, is in his third season at Gary. He spent a good portion of 2007 at Camden, NJ in the Atlantic League.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
AWESOME ONLY WAY TO DESCRIBE HOME RUN FEATS OF DANIEL NAVA AND CRISTIAN GUERRERO
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.