Charles Theodore "Chili" Davis (born January 17, 1960) is a Jamaican-American former baseball player who is currently the hitting coach for the New York Mets. Davis is a former outfielder/designated hitter who played in Major League Baseball with the San Francisco Giants (1981–87), California Angels (1988–90, 1993–96), Minnesota Twins (1991–92), Kansas City Royals (1997) and New York Yankees (1998–99). His first major league coaching position was with the Oakland Athletics from 2012 to 2014. He also coached for the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs. Davis was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed. He is the first ballplayer born in Jamaica to appear in a major league game.
Davis in 1983
|New York Mets – No. 54|
|Outfielder / Designated hitter|
|Born: January 17, 1960|
|April 10, 1981, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 3, 1999, for the New York Yankees|
|Runs batted in||1,372|
|Career highlights and awards|
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Davis moved with his three brothers and sister to Los Angeles at the age of ten. Davis originally attended Fremont High School before transferring to Susan Miller Dorsey High School in Los Angeles. In high school, Davis played catcher and first base. Prior to his first year in the minor leagues, Davis was exclusively a right-handed hitter.
Davis was an outfielder developed in the Giants minors system. In his first regular season in 1982, he hit .261 with 19 HR, 76 RBI and 24 stolen bases, and also led all National League outfielders in assists. In 1984 Davis finished third in NL batting average (.315), behind Tony Gwynn (.351) and Lee Lacy (.321). When he led the league in fielding errors in 1986, his nine errors tied the major league record for fewest errors by a category leader. After seven seasons in San Francisco, including two All-Star appearances in 1984 and 1986, Davis signed with the Angels as a free agent before the 1988 season.
In his first two years with California, Davis hit 21 HR and 93 RBI (in 1988), and then 22 HR and 90 RBI (in 1989). In 1990, hampered by chronic back problems and defensive shortcomings, Davis moved from full-time outfield duty to a DH role. After signing with Minnesota the following year, Davis remained a DH and would do so for the rest of his career.
Davis contributed to the Twins with his switch-hitting ability, as the Twins' lineup already possessed right-handed batting Kirby Puckett and left-handed batting Kent Hrbek. Though he hit well from both sides of the plate, Davis performed better from the left side, as many switch hitters do due to their facing more right-handed pitching. In 1991 he led the Twins in home runs (29), RBI (93), doubles (34), walks (95), intentional walks (13), times on base (244), pitches seen (2,469), games played (153), slugging average (.507), on-base percentage (.385), OPS (.892), home run frequency (18.4 at bat per HR), and most pitches seen per plate appearance (3.89). With these numbers, Davis helped Minnesota rise from a last-place finish the previous year to the AL West title. In the 1991 World Series, in which he hit two home runs, Davis and the Twins defeated the Atlanta Braves in seven games. Davis declined in production in 1992 (12 HR and 66 RBI), and as a free agent the following year returned to the Angels.
Davis provided four years of solid production for California, including 27 HR and a career-high 112 RBI in 1993. In 1994, he hit .311, with 26 HR and 84 RBI, and appeared in the All-Star game in the strike-shortened 1994 season. In 1995, he hit .318 with 20 HR and 86 RBI, and in 1996 hit .292, 28 HR and 96 RBI. In 1997 he was traded to Kansas City for starter Mark Gubicza. In his one year with the Royals, Davis hit .279 with 90 RBI and a career-high 30 HR. Davis spent his final two seasons with the Yankees, winning his second and third World Series rings. He finished his career in 1999 hitting .269 with 19 HR and 78 RBI.
Davis finished his career with 350 home runs. That total ranks seventh all-time in home runs by a switch hitter, following Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray, Chipper Jones, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltrán and Lance Berkman. Eleven times, Davis hit a home run from both sides of the plate in the same game and finished his career tied with Eddie Murray for first in this category, which has since been broken by Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher and Carlos Beltrán.
Davis played in the outfield from 1981 to 1989. By 1990, he started to see more time as designated hitter in the American League. In 1993 he appeared as a pitcher for the only time in his career, pitching the final 2 innings of a game against the Texas Rangers. He faced 7 batters, while allowing no runs, no hits, and surrendering no walks. However he did hit batter Jose Canseco. Davis was specifically a designated hitter from 1995 to 1999, and did not log any innings played in the field the final five seasons of his career.
- On August 2, 1984, Chili Davis went a perfect 4-for-4 outdoing his teammates who only combined for three hits as the San Francisco Giants found a way to get past the Cincinnati Reds, 5-2. He also tripled while driving in 2 runs during the game—which was played at Riverfront Stadium.
- On September 15, 1987, Davis got in a tune-up for the upcoming National League Championship Series with the St. Louis Cardinals by going 4-for-4 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI in a 13-3 regular season win over the San Diego Padres. He also scored 4 runs during the contest as his San Francisco Giants would soon wrap up a 90-72 record that season.
Following his playing days, he was a hitting coach for the Australian National Baseball team for three years and was hired in 2010 by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a hitting coach for their instructional league. While there was speculation that he might be joining the Dodgers as a coach for the 2011 season, he instead joined the Pawtucket Red Sox's coaching staff as their new hitting coach. On November 25, 2011, Davis was hired to be the Oakland Athletics hitting coach. In October, 2014, he returned to the east coast, as the hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox. On October 26, 2017, he was named hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs.
On October 11, 2018 he was relieved of duties as hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs.
On November 28, 2018 he was named hitting coach for the New York Mets.
Currently, Davis spends his time with his wife Ann and his three sons in Arizona and his family in California. He also has a sister named Olive who organized a fundraising event where Chili pitched to fund money for education.
The moniker "Chili" comes from Davis' childhood, when his father gave him a particularly poor bowl cut. Neighborhood children teased him that it looked as though someone had simply placed a chili bowl on his head to cut around, and the nickname stuck.
- Scott Miller (June 18, 1993). "Chili Cooly Shuts Down Rangers: Angels: However, Davis' two-inning stint comes after 18 Texas runs". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 20, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- "Chili Davis". Archived from the original on April 8, 2009.
- "Giants 5, Reds 2". Baseball Reference. August 2, 1984. Archived from the original on July 29, 2010. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- "Giants 13, Padres 3". Baseball-Reference.com. September 15, 1987. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
- Ken Gurnick (October 14, 2010). "Davis joins Dodgers as an instructor". Archived from the original on October 18, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- Jane Lee (November 26, 2011). "Chili Davis to be A's hitting coach". MLB.com. Oakland Athletics. Archived from the original on December 9, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2011.
- Kyle Brasseur (Oct 24, 2014). "Chili Davis to coach Red Sox hitters". ESPN. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- Slusser, Susan (November 10, 2012). "A's Chili Davis helps sister's cause". SFGate. Archived from the original on April 26, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
- Alex Remington (January 17, 2012). "Happy Birthday Boy! Chili Davis turns 52". Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
| Oakland Athletics hitting coach
| Boston Red Sox hitting coach
| Chicago Cubs hitting coach
| New York Mets hitting coach