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December 7, 1895|
Merry Point, Virginia
|Died: May 26, 1967
|April 19, 1915, for the Philadelphia Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 23, 1915, for the Philadelphia Athletics|
|Earned run average||4.05|
John Wilbur Davis (December 7, 1895 in Merry Point, Virginia – May 26, 1967 in Williamsburg, Virginia) was a Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1919. He would later re-establish himself as a hitter in the minor leaguers, becoming a star player at that level. He was nicknamed Bud and Country.
Davis began his big league career at the age of 19, making his debut on April 19, 1919. He spent 18 games with the Athletics that year (all but two of which were relief appearances), going 0–2 with a 4.05 ERA. In 66 2/3 innings, he allowed 59 walks and had only 18 strikeouts.
As a batter, he appeared in 21 games, being used as a pinch hitter a few times. In 26 major league at-bats, he hit .308 with three RBI. He appeared in his final major league game on September 23, 1915 – however, that was not the end of his professional career.
From 1916 to 1922 (save for 1919, in which he did not play), Davis was used as a batter and a pitcher, posting a record of 20–13 with a 1.93 ERA in 37 games with the Augusta Georgians in 1921. As well, at the plate that year, he hit .340 in 98 games.
Following the 1922 season, Davis switched to playing first base full-time. He would go on to hit 253 home runs in his minor league career, blasting as many as 51 in a season (in 1924 for the Okmulgee Drillers - that year, he had 280 total hits in 717 at-bats, playing in a total of 180 games between two different teams). In various years he hit as high as .391 (1924), .376 (1927), .354 (1935), .352 (1934) and .351 (1923).
Overall, as a minor leaguer, Davis hit .331 with 253 home runs, 2,720 hits, 477 doubles and 131 triples in a 19-year career. He played in 2,244 games. As a pitcher, he went 47–49 in 122 games over a span of six seasons.
Following his death he was interred at Williamburg Memorial Park.