David W. Davenport
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 6", Weight 220 lb.
- Debut April 17, 1914
- Final Game September 1, 1919
- Born February 20, 1890 in De Ridder, LA USA
- Died October 16, 1954 in El Dorado, AR USA
Dave Davenport pitched six seasons in the majors during the dead-ball era. He led the 1915 Federal League in a number of pitching categories, led the 1916 American League in games pitched and led the 1917 American League in games started.
He was the older brother of Claude Davenport, also a pitcher.
Before the suspension
Dave was born in Runge, TX, southeast of San Antonio and north of Corpus Christi. He pitched for the San Antonio team in the Texas League before coming to the majors in April 1914. He spent part of a season in the 1914 National League before jumping to the 1914 Federal League.
The 1919 season did not go well for him. Baseball Magazine, in the middle of the season, wrote: "Dave Davenport, after several disasters, has been threatened with a permanent layoff unless he shows some energy in the right direction."
The event which led to his suspension
Davenport was suspended late in the 1919 season by Browns business manager Bob Quinn for failing to report to manager Jimmy Burke for a game vs. Cleveland in St. Louis. Davenport missed the Sept. 2 game - when he was scheduled to start - and then didn't show up the morning of Sept. 3 either.
When Davenport realized he had been suspended without pay for the rest of the season, he returned to the Browns' clubhouse - but it was too late. Quinn told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he suspected Davenport had been drinking.
The Browns were leaving town and held up their train. Davenport asked to speak with Quinn, who was wary that the pitcher was going to stir up some trouble. Quinn grabbed a bat for protection and eventually called a policeman to take Davenport away. Davenport claimed he choked Quinn, although Quinn denied Davenport ever laid hands on him.
Quinn also said that if Davenport was on the team next season, Quinn wouldn't be there. The suspension stayed in effect and Davenport never pitched in the majors again, although the Browns did sell him to the Washington Senators in February of 1920.
Judge Landis would reinstate Davenport, who pitched in "Outlaw" leagues following his suspension, in late May of 1927.
As a hitter
Davenport holds the post-1900 record for most at-bats in a season in which the player hit .100 or worse. In 1915, he hit only .092 in 130 at-bats. Overall, he was a very futile hitter, and sub-.100 averages were the almost norm for him. In 1914, he hit .093 in 86 at-bats. In 1917, he hit .098 in 92 at-bats and in 1919 he hit .077 in 39 at-bats.