Boston Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava's journey to the major leagues included a stop in Chico, where he won an MVP and a championship with the Outlaws in 2007.
It was a season that gave him the confidence that he could play at any level.
"I remember a lot about being an Outlaw," said Nava.
For Daniel Nava, suiting up as a Chico Outlaw is something he'll never forget.
"It was my first pro ball experience. We had a lot of good things happening out in Chico," said Nava.
One his favorite memories was playing at Nettleton Stadium in front of the home-town fans.
"I loved seeing the stadium packed and it wasn't the biggest stadium, but knowing that every day you came to the park and that we were going to get a good crowd, it made you feel special," said Nava.
For much of that season, Nava played right field. Often times, he said he became distracted by one "The Net's" unique characteristics, the trains that run along the tracks behind the outfield wall.
"That train always had the worst timing, something where you like you needed a pop up between the 2nd baseman and the right fielder, you're trying to call if off, here comes the train (sound effect), dude what happened, well the train obviously I couldn't hear you so it was things like that make it special, make it unique," said Nava.
But Nava says, more than anything he remembers the team's success. In 2007, his one and only year with the club, the Outlaws went 44-32 and won the championship. Nava was lamed league MVP after hitting .371 with 12 homers.
"It was one of the last times up until this time that I really felt like it was true team, we loved hanging out together, everyone was a good guy," said Nava.
After that successful season, the Red Sox came calling. They acquired Nava from the Outlaws for a grand total of $1 - with the promise of $1,499 more if he cracked a minor league roster. Fast forward 6 years later, and not only has Nava cracked a minor league roster, he's one of the Red Sox starting outfielders on a team in the midst of a pennant race.
"I was grateful that the Outlaws gave me a shot to play and so I try to keep that mentality when I'm playing, whether it was A-ball, Double-A, Triple-A or here, I'm grateful to have a place to play, so to think 5 years, 6 years ago, looking back at this moment right now, it's crazy, it's a total blessing, it's special," said Nava.