Time with Dodgers: 1959-1966
Stats: .304/.338/.441/.779, 86 HR, 465 RBI, 912 H, 109 2B, 392 R, 117 OPS+
Baseball Reference WAR: 16.2
FanGraphs WAR: 15.5
Combined WAR: 15.85
Tommy Davis spent seven seasons with the Dodgers to begin his career. During his time in Los Angeles, he was a three-time All-Star, a two-time NL batting champion, a Rookie of the Year finalist and an MVP finalist.
He made his debut in 1959, appearing in one game and getting only one at-bat. The following season, Davis appeared in 110 games and finished fifth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. He hit .276 with an OPS of .728, while hitting 11 home runs and driving in 44 runs.
His playing time went up the next season, as he played in 132 games. His numbers at the plate were nearly identical, as he hit .278 and got his OPS up to .738. With more at-bats, he was more productive, as he increased his number of homers to 15 and his runs batted in to 58. It was the next season in which Davis established himself as one of the best players in the game of baseball, and had one of the best seasons in Dodgers history.
1962 was one of the greatest seasons at the plate we had seen from a player, and is still one of the greatest we’ve seen to this date. Davis led the majors with a .346 average, thanks in part to a league-leading 230 hits, which today is tied for the 29th most in the live-ball era. In addition, he also drove in 153 runs, which is tied for the 33rd most in MLB history for a single season.
Davis is the only player in franchise history to have at least 150 RBI in a season. His 230 hits are the second most in franchise history, behind Babe Herman who had 241 in 1930.
He finished third in NL MVP voting that year behind Willie Mays and his teammate Maury Wills, who won the award.
Though it was impossible to top that season, Davis still had a very impressive follow-up campaign. He led all of baseball with a .326 average and nearly had an identical OPS+ to the previous year. Davis hit 16 home runs, drove in 88 runs and had 181 hits. He was an All-Star yet again, and finished eighth in NL MVP voting.
1964 would be the final season that Davis received MVP votes while with the Dodgers. He hit .275, had 163 hits, 14 homers and 86 RBI. The 152 games played were the second most he’d play in a season with LA, and more than he’d play over the course of his final two seasons with the club.
Injuries cost Davis a lot of games over the next two seasons. He’d play in only 17 games in 1965 and only 100 games in 1966. Over those 117 games, Davis was still productive with the bat. He hit .303 and had 103 hits, but essentially all of his power was gone. He hit a total of three home runs, and drove in only 36 runs.
In November of 1966, Davis was traded to the New York Mets.
Here’s where he ranks in LA Dodgers history:
- 86 home runs (28th)
- 392 runs (27th)
- 912 hits (20th)
- 465 RBI (18th)
- .304 average (6th)
- 821 games (27th)