You Are Here > Baseball-Reference.com > Bullpen > George Davis - BR Bullpen

George Davis

From BR Bullpen

Jump to: navigation, search

Note: This page links to George Davis, the Hall of Fame infielder. For the major league pitcher who played from 1912 to 1915, click here; for the outfielder better known as "Kiddo" Davis, click here.

George Davis.jpg

George Stacey Davis

  • Bats Both, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 180 lb.

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1998

BR page

Contents

[edit] Biographical Information

1909-11 T206 George Davis
". . . taking it all in all Davis is . . . as valuable a ball player as there is in the League." - Sporting Life's assessment of George Davis, November 4, 1899

George Davis was belatedly added to the Hall of Fame many decades after he died. A top shortstop during his era, his talents were forgotten until many years later. Hall of Fame historian Lee Allen spearheaded a search for Davis around 1955, because no one knew what had happened to him. Bill James described both the search for Davis and Davis' later life in The Politics of Glory.

Davis had a 20-year playing career split between the high-average 1890s and the low-average 1900s. He usually hit well over .300 in the 1890s and between .250 and .280 in the 1900s, and his Adjusted OPS was 121 for his career. He had unusual power for a shortstop, and along with a lot of stolen bases, he was able to drive in and score a high number of runs for a shortstop.

GeorgeDavis.jpg

Davis became a switch-hitter in his youth (Bill James called him the best switch-hitter in the majors in the 1890's). He started playing semi-pro ball in 1889 and came to the majors in 1890. During the first part of his major league career, he spent three years with the Cleveland Spiders and then was the mainstay of the New York Giants lineup from 1893 to 1901, usually having the highest batting average on the team. Late in his career, he was a star for seven years for the Chicago White Sox, and played on the 1906 Chicago White Sox team which not only won the pennant but went on to defeat the heavily-favored Chicago Cubs team in the World Series.

In 1903, after spending all of 1902 with the White Sox, he played a few games with the Giants, but was the subject of a raging dispute between the National League and the young American League over who owned his playing rights and ended up sitting out most of the season. The dispute was finally resolved in favor of the White Sox, to whom he returned in 1904.

He ranks # 50 on the career runs scored list, and # 53 on the career RBI list. He is # 16 on the career stolen bases list, and # 33 on the career triples list.

Based on the similarity scores method, seven of the ten most similar players are Hall of Famers. The most similar player is Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch, although Frisch played his entire career in a lively-ball era, while Davis played half of his in a dead-ball era. Roberto Alomar is also on the list, and is a fairly good modern-day comparison, except that while Frisch and Alomar were fiery players, Davis was a gentleman.

Davis was once credited in the newspaper with saving the lives of some kids trapped in a burning building. He was on the way to a ball game at the time, and after saving the kids, he continued on to play the game.

He managed for parts of three years, and might have managed longer but for a flighty New York Giants owner who fired him. The Bill James account of his life gives an in-depth look at the indignities he suffered while managing the Giants. He managed one season in the minors and coached Amherst College from 1913 to 1918 before disappearing from view. Later research found that he was admitted to Philadelphia General Hospital in 1934 and was later transfered to a mental institution where he remained until his death in 1940. He was suffering from insanity and dementia produced by syphilitic alteration of the brain.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • NL RBI Leader (1897)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 3 (1893, 1895 & 1897)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 5 (1891, 1893-1895 & 1897)
  • 50 Stolen Bases Seasons: 1 (1897)
  • Won a World Series with the Chicago White Sox in 1906
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1998


Preceded by
John Ward
New York Giants Manager
1895
Succeeded by
Jack Doyle
Preceded by
Buck Ewing
New York Giants Manager
1900-1901
Succeeded by
Horace Fogel

[edit] Year-By-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1895 New York Giants National League 16-17 -- New York Giants replaced by Jack Doyle
1900 New York Giants National League 39-37 8th New York Giants replaced Buck Ewing (21-41) in July
1901 New York Giants National League 52-85 7th New York Giants
1911 Des Moines Boosters Western League 49-113 8th none

[edit] Records Held

  • Batting average, switch hitter, season, .373, 1893
  • Triples, switch hitter, career, 163
  • Triples, switch hitter, season, 27, 1893

Note- According to Baseball-reference.com, Davis hit .355 in 1893 and would therefore not hold the switch hitters' record for BA.

[edit] Further Reading

  • Nicole DiCicco: "George Stacey Davis", in David Jones, ed.: Deadball Stars of the American League, SABR, Potomac Books, Inc., Dulles, VA, 2006, pp. 485-487.
  • Bill James: "Tinker and Davis", in Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame ?: Baseball, Cooperstown and the Politics of Glory, Fireside Books, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 1995, pp. 192-216 (originally published in 1994).

[edit] Related Sites

Personal tools