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Dick Davis

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Richard Earl Davis

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After a fairly good minor league career in the US and a fair six seasons as a backup in the majors, Dick Davis signed with the Kintetsu Buffaloes. Producing much better in Japan than in his homeland, Davis also became a focal point for controversy. A .331/.397/.587 hitter in Nippon Pro Baseball, Davis had his best season in 1985. That year Davis batted .343/.414/.644 with 40 homers and 109 RBI, tied a Pacific League record by homering in six consecutive contests and making the Best Nine at first base. A year later he posted similar statistics but found himself a target of anger for Japanese sportswriters after he charged the mound and severely bruised Osamu Higashio, who had hit him in the elbow with a fastball. Davis was fined 100,000 yen and suspended for ten days. He said his only regret is that he didn't hit Higashio hard enough to remove him from the game.

Davis declined but was still productive in 1987 and made his only All-Star team that season. A year later he was hitting .303/.349/.480 after 42 games. Due to a neighbor's complaints about raucous parties at his home, police raided Davis's home and found 14 grams of cannabis resin. As possession of marijuana was a severe offense in Japan, Davis was arrested. He said a friend had given it to him as a treatment for his heel and that he did not know it was an illegal substance. Reports in the media varied as to whether he admitted smoking marijuana or not after over 120 hours of questioning by the cops. The team paid Davis's full salary for the year but released him during the incident.

Davis is a cousin of Enos Cabell and of Ken Landreaux. He is a graduate of Compton High School in Los Angeles, CA, where he did not play baseball, but played basketball instead.

Sources: "You Gotta Have Wa" by Robert Whiting, japanbaseballdaily.com by Gary Garland

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