It easily ranks as one of the sweetest moments of the 2010 Red Sox season: Daniel Nava, cut from his college team, a refugee from an independent league team, hitting the first pitch he saw for a grand slam off Joe Blanton of the Phillies. In Fenway Park. On national TV. With his mom and dad in the stands.
It was noted at the time that he was only the second player in big-league history to hit a slam on his first pitch, and just the fourth to hit a slam in his first at-bat.
But going into Tuesday night's game, in which he is batting eighth and playing left field, Nava has yet to hit another home run, a span of 51 games, 161 plate appearances and 141 at-bats.
How long did the other first-AB slammers go before hitting their next home run?
Kevin Kouzmanoff was a first-pitch slammer when he connected off Edwin Volquez of the Rangers on Sept. 2, 2006. The next day, Kouzmanoff homered again, off Kevin Millwood of the Rangers.
Former Sox outfielder Jeremy Hermida was with the Marlins on Aug. 31, 2005, when he came to the plate for the first time, his team trailing the Cardinals 10-0, and hit a slam off Alberto Reyes (yes, the same Reyes who plunked Nomar Garciaparra in the wrist on Sept. 25, 1999, leading to his wrist issues the following season).
Hermida went 28 at-bats before hitting a solo home run off Esteban Loaiza, the first of three home runs he would hit in a span of five games at the end of that season.
The third guy was a turn-of-the-20th-century pitcher, Bill Duggleby, who was playing for Philadelphia when he hit a grand slam off Cy Seymour of the New York Giants on April 21, 1898. Duggleby wouldn't hit another home run for six years, a solo home run off Brooklyn's Ed Poole on June 23, 1904. He finished his career with six home runs in 686 plate appearances.
There have been instances, of course, where a player homering in his first big-league at-bat never hit another. We went to David Vincent, who coedited the Home Run Encyclopedia, for the list of those players. (See below)
You'll notice the only Red Sox player on the list is a pitcher, Bill LeFebvre. But with Nava's big-league prospects uncertain next season, he might want to get No. 2 out of the way before the end of the season.