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Jody Davis (baseball)

Jody Richard Davis (born November 12, 1956) is an American former professional baseball player and former minor league manager.[1] He was a catcher in Major League Baseball with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves from 1981 to 1990.[1]

Jody Davis
Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field 1987 Official Scorecard vs Philadelphia Phillies (Jody Davis crop).jpg
Davis (right) defending home plate for the Cubs
Born: (1956-11-12) November 12, 1956 (age 63)
Gainesville, Georgia
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 21, 1981, for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
May 13, 1990, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
Batting average.245
Home runs127
Runs batted in490
Career highlights and awards

Major League careerEdit

Davis was selected by the New York Mets in the third round of the 1976 Major League Baseball Draft.[2] In 1979, the Mets traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals and in 1980 he was drafted from the Cardinals by the Chicago Cubs in the Rule 5 draft.[1]

Jody Davis catching during a Giants-Cubs game in 1981,
his rookie year.

Davis made his major league debut on April 21, 1981 at the age of 24, and became the Cubs starting catcher as a rookie.[1] In the earlier years of his career, Davis showed promise on offense and became a fan favorite among Cubs fans.[citation needed] In his second full season, 1983, he set what would turn out to be career highs with 151 games played, a batting average of .271 and 24 home runs. He also had 84 RBI in the same season.[1] In 1984, he set a career high with 94 RBI and earned his first All-Star selection, as the Cubs won the National League Eastern Division title, their first title of any kind since 1945.[1][3][4] In the only post-season appearance of his career, Davis hit .389 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 6 RBI and an .833 slugging percentage in the 1984 National League Championship Series as the Cubs were defeated by the San Diego Padres in a five-game series.[5]

Later in his career, Davis improved on defense. During his great offensive seasons in 1983 and 1984, defense was somewhat of a challenge for him; in 1983 alone, he had 13 errors and 21 passed balls.[1] However, by 1985 with the help of coach and former catcher, Johnny Oates, he had his defensive problems under control; his passed balls decreased, as did his errors.[6][7] In 1986 he led National League catchers in putouts, assists and baserunners caught stealing and, finished second to Bob Brenly in fielding percentage.[8] When Davis broke the 100 assists barrier in 1986, he joined Johnny Bench, Jim Sundberg, Gary Carter and Tony Peña as the only catchers to have more than 100 assists in a season since the end of the Second World War.[9] His defensive improvement resulted in his first and only Gold Glove Award and, earned him his second All-Star Game appearance.[10][11]

Around the same time, his offense started slipping. In 1986, he hit 21 home runs but struck out 110 times.[1] His batting average slipped to .229 in 1988 and, he was replaced by rookie catcher Damon Berryhill, before being traded with three games left of the season to his hometown Atlanta Braves.[12][13] He played only two games with the Braves that year, but he stayed in Atlanta for one full season and one partial season.[1] With the Braves, he was also seeing occasional action as a first baseman.[1] In 1989 he batted .169 with Atlanta in 78 games.[1] In 1990, he played in 12 games, going 2-for-28 for a batting average of .071. He was granted a release by the Braves, after which time he signed a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers organization (AAA Toledo Mud Hens). He played only 3 games for the Mud Hens before deciding to retire at the age of 33.[1]

Career statisticsEdit

In a ten-year Major League Baseball career, Davis played in 1,082 games, accumulating 877 hits in 3,585 at bats for a .245 career batting average along with 127 home runs and 490 runs batted in.[1] He ended his career with a .987 fielding percentage as a catcher.[1] On April 15, 1987, Davis hit the 4,000th home run in the history of Wrigley Field.[14]

Managing careerEdit

Davis managed the Calgary Outlaws of the Canadian Baseball League to a 24-13 record during the league's only season (2003).[15] Since the league suspended operations at its All-Star break, the Outlaws were awarded the Jenkins Cup. Following his time in Canada, Davis was a minor league manager and roving catching instructor in the Chicago Cubs system, serving as manager of the Daytona Cubs of the Florida State League in 2007 and 2008.[16] During the 2010 baseball season he managed the Boise Hawks.[16] The Hawks are a minor league Class 'A' affiliate of the Cubs and compete in the short-season Northwest League. His pitching coach was former major league starter Jeff Fassero.[17] During the following off-season, he managed in the Venezuelan Winter League. In 2018 he became the manager of the Cincinnati Reds' Double-A affiliate, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.[18] In 2019 was named manager of their Triple-A ball club, the Louisville Bats.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Davis has been married twice and has three children from his first marriage. He is the second-cousin of Major League Baseball player Wade Davis.[20] He attended North Hall High School.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Jody Davis". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  2. ^ "1976 Major League Baseball Draft". Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  3. ^ "1984 All-Star Game". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  4. ^ "1984 National League Team Statistics and Standings". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  5. ^ "1984 National League Championship Series". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Fred (June 1987). Jody Davis of the Cubs: Catcher With a Mission. Baseball Digest. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  7. ^ "Jody Davis Fielding Statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  8. ^ "1986 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  9. ^ "Yearly League Leaders & Records for Assists as Catchers". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  10. ^ "1986 Gold Glove Award Winners". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  11. ^ "1986 All-Star Game". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  12. ^ Vass, George (December 1988). Baseball Digest's 1988 Rookie All-Star Team. Baseball Digest. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  13. ^ "Jody Davis Trades and Transactions". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  14. ^ "1988 Topps baseball card # 115".
  15. ^ "Jody Davis named Calgary Outlaws Manager". Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  16. ^ a b "Jody Davis minor league manager record". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  17. ^ Boise - 2010 field staff - 2009-12-18
  18. ^ "Pensacola Names Two-Time All-Star Jody Davis New Manager". Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  19. ^ Vilona, Bill. "Kelly will manage Triple-A team for Reds; Davis named new Wahoos' manager". Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  20. ^ Tony Fabrizio (2009-09-22). "Davis gives fans something to 'look' forward to". Tampa Bay Online. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
  21. ^ "Jody Davis Stats |". Retrieved 1 April 2018.

External linksEdit