Don't turn your head when Jacoby Ellsbury is on the bases. He is fast enough that you'll miss him if you don't keep your eyes right on him. Not your typical September callup, Ellsbury played every day for most of the season's final month, hitting .361 while filling in for the injured Manny Ramirez. Ellsbury went back to the bench when the postseason started, but he reclaimed a starting role by Game 6 of the ALCS, when he replaced the slumping Coco Crisp in center field.
Perhaps the most memorable thing Ellsbury did in 2007 came curing his first callup in July, when he scored from second base on a wild pitch.
Ellsbury is believed to be the first Native American of Navajo descent to play in the Major Leagues. He takes pride in his heritage.
"It's very special to me. I know where I came from, I know my roots," said Ellsbury. "It's very important to our family, I have three younger brothers. It's definitely something I take pride in."
But there's nothing Ellsbury takes more pride in than his blazing speed. During his youth, he tested that speed out by chasing a deer.
"When I was younger, me and my brothers were just messing around, and there was a deer in our backyard," said Ellsbury, who grew up in Madras, Ore. "We were just joking about wanting to catch it. They kind of went in back of it, chased it toward me, and it kind of got close to me. I took off, roped the deer, and that's the true story."
Another true story is that Ellsbury figures to be in Boston's outfield plans for many years to come.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.