2013 World Series CCCBCA Alumni

With the 2013 World Series beginning today and history about to be made, the California Community College Athletic Association would like to recognize the four individuals involved with CCCAA ties.

There are three former CCCAA student-athletes on the Boston Red Sox active roster for the 2013 World Series. One is former Grossmont College player, Quinton Berry. Berry spent one season with the Grossmont Griffins in 2004. Over the 30 games there he hit .333 (31-for-93) with 25 runs scored, five doubles, two home runs and three stolen bases, with a slugging percentage of .452. After his season at Grossmont, the outfielder moved on to San Diego State under head coach Tony Gwynn and was later drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 MLB draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. After six years of being moved around in the minors, Berry got his chance with the Detroit Tigers in 2012. He played in 94 games with a .258 average and a 100% stolen base success rate, going 21 for 21 in that category as part of the Tigers’ 2012 World Series run. He was named the Tigers Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association Rookie of the Year for 2012. The speedy Berry was acquired on August 27, 2013 by the Boston Red Sox to help in their playoff push. He has been typically used as a situational guy this postseason, being put in to pinch run, steal bases, for defensive purposes, etc, only seeing action in a couple of games this postseason. Berry still remains on Boston’s active roster and is likely to see limited action in the World Series.

Another young player out of the CCCAA on Boston’s roster is Berry’s fellow outfielder, Daniel Nava. Nava has been a great story and an inspiration to many not only within the game of baseball, but those familiar with his dedication and perseverance.

Nava was not sought out by four-year schools coming out of high school. He attempted to walk onto the Santa Clara University team, but was assigned to the practice squad for his first year. He decided to leave Santa Clara and pursue the College of San Mateo, where head coach Doug Williams welcomed him. Nava played two fantastic seasons at CSM in 2004-2005. Over his two years he hit for a cumulative .403 average with 81 RBI’s, leading his team during his first season with

51. He earned All-American and All-Regional honors while leading San Mateo to the super regionals both seasons. This drew the attention of several colleges and Nava transferred back to Santa Clara where he had a productive senior season. Even with his recent success Nava went undrafted and was not picked up by the independent baseball league. With this being the case, Nava thought he was done until a roster vacancy opened up for the Chico Outlaws, a now-defunct independent league team. Nava, given a second chance, did what he’s so often done and made the most of the opportunity. He led his team to the league championship while batting .371 with 12 home runs.

After Nava’s successful season with the Outlaws, the Boston Red Sox picked up his contract and he quickly moved up through the minor leagues, getting his first shot in the majors in 2010. Nava’s first at bat was one for the MLB record books. He stepped into the at bat with the bases loaded and hit the first pitch he saw over the fence for a grand slam home run. He is just the second in MLB history to achieve such a feat. Nava has some time back in Triple-A since his MLB debut, but now in the 2013 season he’s been a staple in the Boston lineup and was even a viable candidate for the All-Star team midseason, hitting nearly .300 and ranking high among American League outfielders in most offensive categories, while playing solid defense. He has started roughly half of the Red Sox postseason games thus far and is a modest 3 for 11 at the plate with three walks. He will most certainly be a factor in the 2013 World Series.

The third outfielder for the Red Sox who is a former CCCAA student athlete is veteran Jonny Gomes. Gomes attended Santa Rosa Junior College where he played baseball for two years, from 2000-2001. He helped lead his team to the regionals both years, batting .356 with nine home runs in 35 games his sophomore year.

After SRJC, Gomes was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 18th round of the 2001 MLB draft, making his MLB debut for the Rays in 2003. Gomes quickly became a fan favorite, known for his all out hustle and long home runs. This is his first year with the Boston Red Sox where he’s batting .247 with 13 home runs in 116 games played. He’s been a regular in their lineup and a big reason they’ve reached the World Series. Gomes has seen action in every postseason game, with the exception of one thus far. Expect to see plenty of him this World Series in the Red Sox outfield.

The final CCCAA student-athlete with 2013 World Series ties is the St. Louis Cardinal’s backup catcher, Rob Johnson. Johnson played for Saddleback College in 2002 and 2003. During his freshman year, Johnson batted .313 in 32 games. He showed major improvement in his sophomore season, recording a .458 average with 55 RBI’s, 14 home runs and a .513 on base percentage. Johnson earned Player of the Year honors in the Orange Empire Conference and the Southern CA Big Stick Award. He led his team to the CCCAA State championship game in 2003 where they lost to Cypress College.

Following his two seasons at Saddleback, Johnson attended the University of Houston for one season before being drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round of the 2004 MLB draft. Johnson made his MLB debut in 2007 with the Mariners. Johnson has been in between Triple A and the majors for most of his MLB career, utilized as a backup catcher and even a pitcher in a couple of instances. This was his first season with the Cardinals where he has played in 20 games batting .171 in 35 at bats. He’s been backup catcher to the All-Star veteran Yadier Molina.

Lastly, the CCCAA would like to recognize and thank Major League Baseball for their long standing partnership and support. MLB plays a big role in providing opportunities to baseball players in the California Community College system. Each of these former student athletes mentioned came to a CCC for one reason or another and took advantage of that opportunity. They each grew from it and have reached their goal of playing on the biggest stage in baseball.


Original Article: http://www.cccaasports.org/news/1310_world%20series.pdf