Advertisement

 MADRAS, Ore. (AP) - Boston Red Sox rookie Jacoby Ellsbury came home to a hero's welcome Saturday after a meteoric six-month rise from Double-A prospect to World Series standout.
``I need a basketball,'' the 24-year-old Ellsbury said before wading into the roaring crowd that filled the gym of Madras High School, where the newly minted big-league star lettered in basketball, football, track and baseball.
``Yeah, but there were never this many people,'' high school teammate Jake Jaca reminded him before a grinning Ellsbury started shaking hands and waving to the crowd of 3,000, many decked out in Red Sox hats and shirts.
Ellsbury, widely believed to be the first Navajo player in major league history, was born and raised in this small farming town in the Oregon high desert. His mother, Marjorie Ellsbury, moved here from her home in Arizona to become a special education teacher for the nearby Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs.
Here she met Jim Ellsbury, a forester for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, and they raised four sons, of which Jacoby is the oldest. He is an enrolled member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes in Arizona.
``I'm really proud of Jacoby, coming out of the Navajo Nation,'' said Ken Man, a member of the Warm Springs tribes who called the radio play-by-play of Ellsbury's high school basketball games. ``He could have been in the NBA, too, he's that good.''
Though the day was rainy, the sun broke out just long enough for Ellsbury to sit on the back deck of a black Corvette convertible for a parade through town, where the sidewalks were packed with cheering fans.
``The parade in Boston was amazing, but this is even better,'' he told the crowd.
Drafted by the Red Sox in the first round in 2005 out of Oregon State University, Ellsbury started 2007 with Double-A Portland, and moved up to Triple-A Pawtucket before being called up to Boston to fill in for injured center fielder Coco Crisp in June.
When slugger Manny Ramirez pulled a muscle in his side in August, Ellsbury took over left field. He hit .353 with three home runs, 18 RBIs and went 9-for-9 in stolen bases in 116 at-bats.
With the Red Sox down three games to one in the American League Championship Series and Crisp slumping, manager Terry Francona put Ellsbury back in, and he helped the Sox win seven straight games, including a World Series sweep of Colorado. During the World Series he collected 16 hits, second only to rookie Dustin Pedroia.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Marlins can't slow down scorching Cardinals Jaime Garcia’s on pace to make his most starts in a single campaign since 2011. Still, that doesn’t mean the 3_-year-old is enamored with his 2016 body of work...
Thumbnail Astros stand in path of Tigers' fifth straight W Justin Verlander may or may not have stepped into a time machine. Either way, Detroit loves the vintage form it’s seeing from the venerable...
Thumbnail Red Sox vs. Angels Prediction Can the Angels pull off the upset tonight when they host the Red Sox at 9:05PM ET?
Thumbnail Royals vs. Rangers Free Pick The Royals continue to scuffle but can they pull off the upset tonight in Texas when they visit the Rangers at 8:05PM ET?
Thumbnail Smyly, Rays could push Yanks into 2017 mode After a stretch that saw them claim eight of 10 games, the Yankees have dropped two in a row. Can Joe Girardi’s crew recover in time for today’s showdown vs....
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages

Advertisement