Growing up in the Bay Area of California, Daniel Nava always has followed the San Francisco Giants, so there was no doubt that Nava paid attention to outfielder Cody Ross when the Giants claimed him off of waivers in 2010 and especially during the World Series that same year.
Little did Nava know that just two years later the two would have lockers next to one another in the Red Sox clubhouse and Nava would be learning from the veteran while enjoying a terrific second season in the big leagues.
"I knew of him with the Giants," Nava said to Metro Boston. "I saw him for years playing, but I didn't know him personally. He is easy to talk to and has been very welcoming."
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Nava, who was called up to the majors in early May, has hit .275 leading off and has done a fine job in the outfield filling in for the injured Carl Crawford.
Some of that success can be attributed to watching Ross, a fellow outfielder, play the game.
"Cody is a great guy," the 29-year-old Nava said. "He is a great teammate and is always willing to talk. He has offered me advice with anything, especially on the field. He plays the game the right way. He plays the game hard. That is something you always look to."
Ross is having a solid season himself, hitting .264 with 13 home runs and is on pace to best his career-high of 24 that he hit in 2009 with the Marlins. He is on that pace despite missing about a month with a fractured foot earlier in the year.
It hasn't been necessarily specific advice that Ross has given Nava, rather just being able to watch him on a day-to-day basis.
"Nothing specifically of what I should do," Nava said. "It is more of when you watch him play you are able to learn from that. He does a good job of letting his actions lead and speak for himself."
Ross, who is just two years older than Nava, does have seven more years of big league experience, has been impressed with what he's seen thus far this season.
"He has been absolutely incredible since coming up," Ross said. "He has done everything they have asked him to do and has stepped up in the lead off role. He's just been outstanding and a great listener too.
"I don't know where we would be without him right now."
Cody Ross was drafted in the fourth round of the 1999 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers and has played for six teams since 2003.
Daniel Nava went undrafted out of Santa Clara.