Yesterday I received one of those wonderful envelopes addressed in my own handwriting. The postmark, what Sacramento, CA. Who could that be?
As I’m hoping you’ve guessed the response was from Daniel Nava. Nava burst onto the scene in 2010 about the best way anyone ever could. He hit a grand slam home run on the first pitch he saw in the major leagues. How he didn’t just retire after that, I don’t know. But, this is a great card. For one thing, since it’s from the Update set, the back of the card mentions the grand slam. The red shirt and coloring really make the signature pop. Now, I admit, I have no idea what the signature is saying. That’s the strangest looking “D” I’ve ever seen. I also notice that Nava added a Bible verse, as many people do these days.
The verse he referenced is Phil 4:13. A quick check reveals that verse to be, depending on the version of your Bible, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” A wonderful sentiment. Whenever I see an athlete sign that verse, I’m reminded of the first time I saw that verse used. It was a TTM request from Albert Belle. Belle’s penmanship was worse than Nava’s, and his marker was a bit fatter. The P and h sort of ran together. The I looked like a colin, and the l looked more like a 1. I knew it must be a verse, and the best I could come up by checking the Bible was M:1 4:13. Maccabees 1 4:13 I surmised. A quick check told me that verse is, “Wherefore they went out of the camp to battle, but they that were with Judas sounded their trumpets.” A little bit of an odd choice, but it was Albert Belle after all. It might be considered a motivational verse calling you to battle. It wasn’t until I saw another player use the Phil 4:13 reference years later that I realized that’s what Belle was writing.
So, I want to thank Daniel Nava for taking the time to respond. Since the request was sent out during Spring Training, it only took 242 days. It was a nice bit of good news mixed in with all the Red Sox crud these days.
Thanks Daniel Nava!