Chris Davis (baseball)

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Chris Davis
Chris Davis on August 10, 2011.jpg
Baltimore Orioles – No. 19
First baseman
Born: (1986-03-17) March 17, 1986 (age 28)
Longview, Texas
Bats: Left Throws: Right
MLB debut
June 26, 2008 for the Texas Rangers
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Batting average .266
Home runs 130
Runs batted in 360
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Christopher Lyn Davis (born March 17, 1986), nicknamed "Crush Davis", is an American professional baseball first baseman with the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball (MLB). Davis also played with the Texas Rangers from 2008 until being traded to the Orioles in 2011.

Professional career[edit]

Draft[edit]

Davis graduated from Longview High School in his Texas hometown of the same name in 2004.[1] He played shortstop on the school's varsity baseball team.[2] He was originally chosen by the New York Yankees as the third-to-last pick of the 2004 MLB Draft (1,496th overall in the 50th round), but did not sign.[3] He was once again drafted, by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, in the 2005 MLB Draft, however he did not sign. Davis was then drafted again this time by the Texas Rangers in the fifth round of the 2006 MLB Draft out of Navarro Junior College (TX).

Texas Rangers[edit]

On June 26, 2008, the Rangers called up Davis from Triple-A Oklahoma, and that day he made his major league debut in a game against the Houston Astros, getting a hit in his first Major League at bat. Davis started his first Major League game at first base on June 27, 2008, and hit his first Major League home run during the game. He also homered the next day, becoming the first Texas Ranger to homer in both of his first two Major League starts.

By virtue of his hot start with the Rangers, and his considerable power as a batter, Davis was dubbed "Crush Davis" by local media and fans (a play on "Crash Davis" from the movie Bull Durham).[4]

Davis during his tenure with the Texas Rangers in 2009.

After striking out in 30% of his at bats in 2008, Davis led all players in strikeouts during spring training, with 26 in 79 at bats, though he batted .304.[5] He hit a milestone when he struck out for the 100th time in 2009 in his 219th at bat, the fewest at bats that a player has needed to reach the 100-strikeout mark.[6]

On July 5, Davis was optioned to the minors to make room for Josh Hamilton who was coming off the disabled list. He batted only .202 with 114 strikeouts, but did have 15 home runs in 258 at bats.[7]

When Davis returned to the majors, his numbers improved dramatically, hitting .318 in September and October, with five home runs and 21 RBIs in the two-month span.[8]

Davis was once again optioned to Triple-A after starting 2010 batting .188/.264/.292 in 15 games and 48 at-bats. He was recalled on July 9, 2010 to play first base for the Rangers. A roster spot and spot in the Rangers starting lineup became available when Justin Smoak was involved in a trade that sent him to the Seattle Mariners for pitchers Cliff Lee and Mark Lowe.

Davis was left off the postseason roster when the Rangers entered the World Series for the first time ever but ended up losing to the San Francisco Giants during the series.

In 2011, Davis was called up from Triple-A to play for the Rangers when Josh Hamilton suffered a fracture of the humerus bone in his shoulder.[9]

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

2011[edit]

On July 30, 2011, Davis was traded with pitcher Tommy Hunter to the Baltimore Orioles for reliever Koji Uehara.

2012[edit]

Chris Davis swings during a 2012 game vs. the Washington Nationals.

On May 6, 2012, in a 17-inning 9-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, he went hitless in eight at bats, but ended up being the winning pitcher. His feat was the first of its kind since Rube Waddell achieved it on July 4, 1905. Davis was the designated hitter until he was pressed into service as a relief pitcher in the 16th inning after manager Buck Showalter had depleted the Orioles' bullpen. He struck out two batters and did not allow a run in his two innings of mound work.[10] He was the first position player in the American League (AL) to be the winning pitcher in a game since Rocky Colavito on August 25, 1968,[2] and the first to pitch for the Orioles since Manny Alexander on April 19, 1996.[11][12] He and losing pitcher Darnell McDonald were the first position players on opposing teams in the same contest to each work in relief since Ty Cobb and George Sisler on October 4, 1925 and the first where both earned pitching decisions since Sam Mertes and Jesse Burkett on September 28, 1902.[13]

On July 31, 2012, Davis hit his first career grand slam off New York Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova in an 11-5 win and after facing a 5-run deficit previously. On August 24, 2012, Davis had his first career three-homer game, against the Toronto Blue Jays. His second home run was his 22nd of the season, setting a new career high. Due to a late-season stretch of homering six times in the final six games, he finished the regular season with 33 home runs, more than any other Oriole.

2013[edit]

On April 5, 2013, Davis set a new Major League record with 16 RBI in the first 4 games of a season. He also became the fourth MLB player in history to hit a home run in the first four games of the season (Nelson Cruz, Mark McGwire, Willie Mays) including a grand slam in the fourth game.

On June 16, 2013, he hit the 100th home run of his career off Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. On July 11, he hit his 34th home run of the season, eclipsing his previous season high. He earned his 87th and 88th RBIs of the season on July 12, setting a new Orioles record for most RBIs before the All-Star break; the previous record was 86 by Boog Powell. He ultimately ended up with 93 RBIs before the All-Star break. On July 14, he hit his 37th home run of the season, tying Reggie Jackson for the 2nd most home runs before the All-Star break by any MLB player and the most by an American League player.

On July 6, 2013, Davis was elected to start the 2013 All-Star Game, his first ever appearance. He was the leading vote-getter with 8,272,243 votes.[14] Davis was also chosen to participate in the Home Run Derby for the first time, by American League captain Robinson Cano.[15] Davis advanced to the second round and hit a total of 12 home runs. However, a callous broke on his hand, leaving him unable to hit enough homers to advance to the third and final round. At the All-Star Game the next night, July 16, 2013, Davis went 1-3, with a fly out, a single and a strikeout. Davis's single advanced Miguel Cabrera to third, where he would score the game's first run on Jose Bautista's sac fly.

On July 14, 2013, Davis recorded his 500th career hit, a home run off of Josh Johnson of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Davis's 50th home run of the season, which he hit on September 13, tied him with Brady Anderson for the Orioles record of most home runs in a single season. He also became only the third player in MLB history, after Babe Ruth and Albert Belle, to hit 50 home runs and 40 doubles in a single season.[16] He hit his 51st home run on September 17, setting a new Orioles single season record. This was also his 92nd extra-base hit of the season, again tying Anderson for a franchise record.[17] He later surpassed that by hitting his first triple of the season on September 21. Davis broke another Orioles record on September 27 with his 28th home run of the season hit at his home park of Camden Yards, surpassing Frank Robinson's record of 27 home runs hit at Memorial Stadium in 1966.

In 2013, Davis led all MLB batters in home runs (53), runs batted in (138), extra-base hits (96), and total bases (370). His 53 home runs, 96 extra-base hits and 199 strikeouts all set new Orioles single-season records. In addition to these statistics, which were all career highs, he also set new career highs in games played (160), hits (167), doubles (42), runs scored (103), walks (72), stolen bases (4), batting average (.286), on-base percentage (.370), slugging percentage (.634), and OPS (1.004).

Personal[edit]

Davis and his wife Jill live in Baltimore, Maryland and Dallas, Texas.[18] They married in 2011.[19] Davis is a Christian.[20] He reads the Bible daily.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Derrick, J.C. "Longview's Chris Davis battles first career injury, suits up for new team," Longview (TX) News-Journal, Monday, September 19, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Wills, Todd. "MLB: Chris Davis pitches first game since Navarro College," Corsicana (TX) Daily Sun, Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
  3. ^ Newberg, Jamey. The Newberg Report: 2010 Bound Edition. Dallas, TX: Brown Books Publishing Group, 2010.
  4. ^ Matt Patterson. "Davis off to fast start with Rangers". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  5. ^ Sortable Player Stats
  6. ^ Davis on record strikeout pace
  7. ^ Hamilton returns, Davis sent to Triple-A
  8. ^ Davis returns with power
  9. ^ Grant, Evan (12 April 2011). "Rangers to recall Chris Davis to replace Josh Hamilton on roster". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
  10. ^ Ghiroli, Brittany. "Davis unlikely hero in O's marathon victory," MLB.com, Sunday, May 6, 2012.
  11. ^ Melewski, Steve. "Still stunned by what Chris Davis did," Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, Monday, May 7, 2012.
  12. ^ Texas Rangers 26, Baltimore Orioles 7; Friday, April 19, 1996 (N) at The Ballpark in Arlington – Retrosheet.
  13. ^ Stark, Jayson. "Chris Davis has a day for the ages," ESPN, Monday, May 7, 2012.
  14. ^ Hagen, Paul (July 5, 2012). "Bright lights, big Citi to be teeming with Stars". MLB.com. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  15. ^ http://m.espn.go.com/general/story?storyId=9460939&city=newyork&src=desktop
  16. ^ ESPN Stats & Information (September 14, 2013). "Chris Davis joins Ruth & Belle in 50-40 club". Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  17. ^ Mastrodonato, Jason (September 17, 2013). "Davis sets new franchise record with 51st homer". Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  18. ^ Davis, Jill. "Jill Davis". Twitter. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Bella Bride: Jill Meyer & Chris Davis". Bella Flora. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Slugger Chris Davis Reveals True Power Source". 
  21. ^ "Crushing It". 

External links[edit]