Eric Davis turns 56 today so let’s look back at one of the most dynamic players of my lifetime.
The Dodgers acquiring him before the 1992 was highly anticipated. He joined another Los Angeles native (Darryl Strawberry) in the Dodgers outfield, and those two flanking center fielder Brett Butler made for an iconic poster that was mounted on my bedroom wall:
It didn’t work out. Davis hit .232/.315/.362 in parts of two seasons with the Dodgers before he was shipped to Detroit. But his early days with the Reds were sublime:
Davis was often injured and never played more than 135 games in a season. But while on the field he was electric, averaging 30 home runs and 41 steals (at an 87% success rate) in 131 games from 1986-90 while hitting .277/.371/.527, a 143 OPS+.
In a 162-game stretch from June 15, 1986 to July 7, 1987, Davis hit .304/.402/.619 with 48 home runs and 96 steals, all while walking 95 walks, scoring 151 runs and driving in 124. 48 home runs and 96 steals.
Davis finished in the top five in the NL in both homers and steals in both 1986 in 1987. His 37 home runs and 50 steals in 1987 made him the first player with 30 and 50, something only done once since (Barry Bonds in 1990).
Davis with his 27 home runs and 80 stolen bases joins Rickey Henderson (twice) as the only members of the 20/80 club, and even if we lower that to 60 steals the club only adds one other player, Hall of Famer Joe Morgan (also twice, plus one more Henderson season).
In July 1986 alone, Davis stole 25 bases and was caught just once.
The Dodgers this season have 15 steals as a team and have been caught eight times, a 65% success rate. But they have stolen eight bases in their last nine tries over the last 30 days.
One of those steals came on Monday, when Yasmani Grandal took second after driving in the winning run. With Justin Turner on third base, Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro bobbled the transfer before even getting a chance to throw to second.
It gave Grandal one steal, ever closer to fulfilling the preseason prophecy.
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA