By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN Classic Blackbox: He Won’t Make The Cut But…
Originally Published: December 28, 2006 HE WON’T MAKE THE CUT BUT … ERIC DAVIS MAKES THE LIST
NOMINEE ERIC DAVIS
It’s nice to be appreciated
even if that’s all there is
Eric Davis has just been
nominated to the Baseball
Hall of Fame but he won’t
be elected guaranteed
But it’s still nice to get the recognition for a stellar career that could have been forgotten. As you probably did if you ever knew of it to begin with.. Just goes to prove talent often flies below conventional radar.
We’re going to let MLB.com
tell you who Davis is
” Davis had a 17-year career as an outfielder from 1984-2001 when he hit 282 home runs and drove in 934 runs for the Reds, Dodgers, Tigers, Orioles, Cardinals and Giants. But he never played in more than 135 games during a season.” But a player who also …
” …. is a man who lacerated a kidney trying to make a catch. He also fought back from early retirement because of injuries and even stared down life-threatening cancer.
While those health issues diminished the type of numbers that would have signified a great career, it only increased the level of respect he earned around baseball.
And what Eric Davis says about himself ….
” If I hadn’t lost five years of my career to injuries, I firmly believe I would’ve been up around 500 home runs,” Davis said upon retirement in 2001 with the Giants.
“I lost a lot of numbers. But that was just the luck of the draw. I feel very fortunate to have ever had the chance to play Major League Baseball. Everything else was icing on the cake.”
Also keep in mind ….
” In the days before Lance Armstrong’s cancer-fighting heroics in cycling, Davis became a beacon of inspiration for many fighting the disease. He returned earlier than scheduled from cancer surgery and underwent chemotherapy while playing.
Meanwhile, he helped raise cancer awareness around baseball and his efforts earned him the Roberto Clemente Award following the season. ”
Here is how Wikipedia describes the end of his career …
” In 1999, Davis wrote his autobiography, Born to Play in which he credited Pete Rose for having faith in him and teaching him about the game. He also had harsh words for Ray Knight, who was the Reds manager in 1996.”
“He claimed Knight did not support his comeback and did not stand up for him in contract negotiations after the season.
Davis remains bitter about the Reds treatment of him after his World Series injury. Davis was left behind in Oakland after the series and requested that the Reds provide a private plane to bring him back to Cincinnati. Davis claimed that he was refused a number of times and made his own way home after the hospital released him.”
Among Davis other accomplishments during his playing days Davis was twice a National League All Star, 3 times Golden Glove. Twice won the Silver Slugger Award. Second highest number of stolen bases in a season in National League, Comeback Player of the Year. Roberto Clemente Award. Holds the Baltimore Orioles hitting streak record. and on and on.
Eric Davis’ totals are
Batting Average .
Home Runs 282
Stolen Bases 349
If only Davis had his average up to .280, had hit 300 HmeRuns, gotten 1500 hits, and 1000 RBIs and stolen 400 bases. along with his story of survival he might be on the cusp of actually becoming a Hall of Famer. But as he said if not for cancer and chemotherapy and 5 largely “lost” seasons his stats would even be far better.
But his reality as he lived it is what the voters will see and he won’t score all that many points for his heroic battle against cancer. There are 32 nominees for the Hall of Fame this time for 2007. Davis is one of 17 first timers. Only 3 or 4 are likely to be elected and it takes 75% of the ballots to be named a member of the Hall of Fame. Eric Davis doesn’t have a chance.
But he still has a career
to be very proud of and
an heroic battle against
cancer and now he is
being recognized as one
of Hall of Fame nominee
not to shabby and Davis
gets his own Black Box !
ERIC DAVIS HITTING IN 1989