In a story that might only take place in Hollywood, Nava started his college baseball career at Santa Clara. He tried to walk-on the team and was promptly cut. Instead, he became the team's equipment manager.
He came out for the team and Ill be honest with you, he didnt get many balls out of the infield, said Mark OBrien, Santa Clara baseball coach. I called him in the office and said, Hey, man, I love you as a kid but I cant look you in the eye and say you can play for this team. Its hard to let a kid go, but there wasnt much I could do.
Due to financial reasons, Nava went to play junior college ball at the College of San Mateo for his sophomore and junior years. He went back to Santa Clara for his senior year and finally made the team.
Globe Staff Photo / Jonathan Wiggs