Daniel Nava was elated when he received word last offseason that longtime minor league coach Victor Rodriguez had been named Boston Red Sox assistant hitting coach.
“I sent him a text,” said Nava, Boston’s left fielder. “He’s one of the favorite coaches I’ve ever had.”
If you know Rodriguez’s story, you also would have been just as excited as Nava.
Even Crash Davis would have to bow to Rodriguez, who is the definition of a career minor leaguer.
The 52-year-old played 1,759 minor league games and logged 6,985 minor league plate appearances over 19 seasons. He also spent from 1995 until this season working in a number of different capacities as a minor league coach and coordinator in the Red Sox system.
He no longer is a minor leaguer, though. He’s a World Series champ.
Like Rodriguez, all the Red Sox coaches have terrific stories.
Manager John Farrell’s staff is one of the best in baseball. All the coaches are selfless. They all are about their players. They worked tirelessly — behind the scenes — this year Sox team World Series champions.
The staff also communicated tremendously well with one another and with their players — and that was lacking among previous manager Bobby Valentine’s staff.
THREE UNDERDOG TALES
You have to feel proud for Rodriguez who finally received a major league job this year after he spent so long in the minors and received just 28 major league plate appearances, going 12 for 28 (.429 average) with five doubles.
“When you’re in baseball, the goal is always as a player to play in the major leagues and as a coach to get a coaching job in the major leagues,” Rodriguez said. “So it’s a pleasure to be here and see what the guys are doing.”
Want another great story?
The 49-year-old Arnie Beyeler’s journey to the majors began in 1986 as the second baseman for the rookie level Bristol Tigers.