Bright Spots

In one of the daily threads, we started talking about being spoiled, and not being able to see the positives in years that don't bring a championship. That led me to thinking about how some of my favorite memories from the Sox have actually come from non playoff teams, let alone championship teams. Most of these come from kids coming up, making an impact, and just having fun because they get to play baseball.

The two biggest that stand out in my head both happened in 2010, which sounds absolutely insane to think these were ten years ago. That was the bridge year that was derailed even more by injuries. They lost Jacoby in April, Pedroia in June and then Youk toward the end of the year. That Jacoby injury opened up a lot of playing time in the outfield that featured Mike Cameron who also didn't finish the season and a surprisingly healthy JD Drew. That led to two of my favorite moments.

In April, after Jacoby went down, the Sox were down in the 8th to the Rangers when Darnell McDonald hit a game tying pinch hit home run, becoming just the 9th Sox player to hit a HR in his first at-bat with the team. He came back up to the plate in the 9th, and knocked one off the monster to drive in the game winning run, the first Sox player ever to knock in the game winning run in his first game.

The other one is a bit more storied, and his career with the team was longer, but it's the debut of Daniel Nava. A guy that the Sox managed to purchase from an Independent League team for a dollar (with a possibility of that turning into fifteen hundred dollars if they kept him past Spring Training) came up in June and smoked a grand slam on the first pitch he ever saw, going down as the second player ever to do so, and only the fourth to even do it in their first at bat.

There's been a lot of other great moments, typically at the end of fruitless years when kids start showing promise for the future, like Mookie making that game winning catch over the wall against the Orioles.

What are your favorite bright spots like these?