Chris Davis, formerly of the Baltimore Orioles, released this statement this morning:
The Orioles then subsequently released this statement:
So there you have it folks, Chris Davis is retiring. Perhaps the one piece that was “semi-left over” from the 2012-2016 era. I don’t need to tell folks of Davis’ recent struggles, because they’ve been well-documented over the years. However so were his immense highs.
It’s my hope that Orioles fans will remember Davis as hitting 50 home runs one year, as opposed to not even coming close to the Mendoza Line. Perhaps more poignantly, until his final appearance in a major league game, he remained an above-average big league first baseman.
That’s not something you’re going to hear covered in a lot of commentary about this today. Most people will talk about his massive contract and how he never lived up to it. But that’s only at the plate. Davis ALWAYS earned his keep in the field. As a first baseman, he has a career fielding percentage of .995. He’s also 1-0 as a pitcher – who could forget the game against Boston where he came into pitch in extra innings, earning the win?!
But going back to Davis as a fielder for a moment, he played parts of six seasons at third base as well. When Mark Reynolds was struggling at the hot corner in 2011-2012, Davis was asked to go across the diamond to play at the hot corner, leaving first base to Reynolds. Not only did he do it, but he fielded at a .911 clip at third. That doesn’t sound great, but for a first baseman I see it as outstanding.
Point being, he was a team player. He was willing to play wherever the Orioles wanted him to play – including the outfield. And in the aforementioned example, Reynolds turned out to be a pretty decent first baseman also. It was a win-win.
Davis was traded to the Orioles from Texas mid-2011, and the rest is history. He and his wife Jill were always very generous with their time when it came to charities in the Baltimore area. Even when his hitting tailed off significantly, he always represented the very best of Baltimore and of the Orioles. Best wishes in retirement, Chris. I hope I speak on behalf of the team and the fans when I say you’ll always have a special place in Baltimore’s heart.