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CRIT member celebrates World Series victory
December 7, 2007

Ellsbury’s insertion into lineup helps Red Sox turn tide, win championship

He started the 2007 season as a rookie. He ended it as a star, a champion and the pride of Indian Country.

CRIT member Jacoby Ellsbury played a critical role for the 2007 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, earning what could be a long-time place in the starting lineup and turning heads throughout the baseball world.

Ellsbury, who made his major-league debut with a short stint during the summer, was called up again in the final weeks of the regular season.

He made the most of his opportunity, finally dislodging Coco Crisp as the starting center fielder by the time the Sox entered the World Series against the Colorado Rockies.

His insertion into the lineup coincided with a seven-game winning streak that led the Sox back from the brink of elimination to their second championship in four years.

It seems unlikely that the former three-sport star at La Pera Elementary will be heading back to the minors anytime soon — fans and media alike are already referring to him as a budding superstar.

Ellsbury called his Series experience “definitely a dream come true,” according to The Boston Globe.

“It was unbelievable,” a champagne-soaked Ellsbury told an interviewer after the game. “As a kid you dream of it.”

Ellsbury has also quickly become one of the most successful Native American athletes in professional sports.

Ellsbury was born and grew up in Madras, Oregon, but is the son of CRIT native Margie McCabe Ellsbury.

Margie said that her son’s success has been an incredible experience for their family.

“We’re still getting mail, we’re still getting requests for autographs,” she said. “It’s been quite an experience, really.”

When Ellsbury, who is Navajo, was 12 years old, he came to Parker with his family to stay with his ailing grandmother. It was then that he made a memorable impression on his fellow tribal members playing football, basketball and baseball at La Pera Elementary.

Ellsbury moved back to Oregon where he eventually landed a baseball scholarship at Oregon State, where he excelled and was named All-American. CRIT helped pay for part of the scholarship Ellsbury had at Oregon state, Margie Ellsbury said.

Ellsbury was a first-round draft pick by the Red Sox a couple of years ago.

He and his family stay in close touch with their many proud relatives and friends in the CRIT community.

Margie Ellsbury said that Jacoby has spent much of the offseason participating in celebrations of the title, including ones in his hometown in Oregon, which threw him a parade recently.

“We’re all very proud of him, and he’s getting a lot of fan mail right now,” she said. “I had no idea that kids and young people would be this crazy about him.”

CRIT and local residents are currently working on plans to bring Ellsbury to Parker this offseason to recognize his accomplishments.

Margie Ellsbury said that Jacoby was also recently named the Red Sox’ Minor League Player of the Year, an award he will be presented with in January.

At press time, Major League Baseball was having its annual meetings, where a great deal of player trading takes place.

Ellsbury’s name had come up in trade conversations regarding some star players, with rumors including a possible trade to Minnesota for Johan Santana, widely regarded as the best pitcher in baseball.

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