Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
Jacoby Ellsbury - Navajo
BOSTON - The first Navajo baseball player to reach Major League Baseball, Jacoby Ellsbury, is a leading contender for Most Valuable Player (MVP) award this season in the American League.
Since the beginning of August, several sportswriters have mentioned his name often as a strong contender for the American League's MVP award.
Prior to Boston's Friday game with the Oakland Athletics, Ellsbury was hitting .315 with 23 home runs, 81 RBIs and 35 stolen bases.
Drafted by the Red Sox after three years of being a star baseball player at Oregon State University, Ellsbury made it to the major leagues on June 30, 2007 after Coco Crisp was injured. Ellsbury soon proved he was ready for the big league. The next year, Ellsbury led the American League in stolen bases and led Major League Baseball in stolen bases during 2009.
In a September 2007 article the "New York Times" described the Boston Red Sox centerfielder as a "cult hero" who brings "speed, improved defense, and unbridled enthusiasm."
Ellsbury was born and raised in Madras, Oregon. He is a tribal member of the Colorado Indian Tribe. He is currently a Nike7 ambassador, a program that the Nike company to bring sport and all of its benefits to the American Indian and Aboriginal communities in the United States and Canada.
Additionally, Ellsbury is on the board of advisors for the Center for Native American Youth, based in Washington, which is an organization that fosters connections and collaboration on all issues that impact the lives of Native youth.
According to some sportswriters, the largest obstacle in Ellsbury's candidacy may be separating himself from his own teammates. He is facing competition from Dustin Pedoria and Adrian Gonzalez.
With less than 40 games, it will be fun to watch Ellsbury.
posted August 27, 2011 7:00 am edt
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