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David DeJesus

Daniel Nava is trying to pull off another surprise and be the Angels' left fielder

Daniel Nava is trying to pull off another surprise and be the Angels' left fielder

Daniel Nava did not have a plan, but he had a membership to a gym, so he worked out relentlessly a dozen summers ago.

He was 20. He had just withdrawn from Santa Clara University, where he spent two years as an equipment manager for the school's baseball team. At first he tried out to play, but he was 5 feet 5. The coach offered him a spot around the team in lieu of one on it.

Although Nava liked it, he and his family could afford no more of the private-school education. He was unsure what to do: He loved baseball and was certain he could compete in it, but he hadn't played it regularly for two years. He was, though, 5-10 and muscular by that time, having experienced a late...

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