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Remembering The Great Tommy Davis

April 5, 2022

Tommy, the great Tommy Davis, who died Sunday night past, at age 83 (look at ’62, look at his clutch play) was standing with Steve Yeager at an L.A. event late in 1992, when I interviewed him and among other things, mentioned a Sunday afternoon game in 1976.

Davis was with the Angels late in his career and in the tilt, the Angels led the eventual A.L. Pennant winning Yankees (8-0).

Howie “Schtunk” had a 40 time/200 dollar bet on the Angels and was in a swimming pool as the lead dissipated. I did not really care as the Yankees had a big A.L. East lead and none of us watched while at my grandmother’s place. Yet we knew the Angels had a big lead.

I recall my father having pulled the car around and tuned in to the game citing what happened. Somehow it was Top 10, a runner on second (earned by the way, NOT put there!) and Tommy was up. I boldly said he would deliver (as I typed this, “deliver” was said on what I was listening to) and he did!

In Vero Beach, Sandy Koufax was walking away when I told him, if Tommy had not broken his ankle in ’65, he would have made the Hall of Fame. Sandy agreed regarding his fellow Brooklyn born, Dodgers teammate.

As is, Tommy belongs there before such non clutch players as Biggio, Bagwell, Dawson and especially Dave “Cadillac” Winfield. I do not care about compiled stats, who do you “want up,” among the quintet?!

You know what they say about opinions, however I strongly opine, I want Tommy.

Luckily for the ’74 Orioles and unlucky for a likable Yankees team that season, former Yankees’ manager Ralph Houk, then “mgr’ing” Detroit did not heed that. He elected to pitch to Tommy, 2nd and third two out, O’s down a run on Kol Nidre night down the deep stretch, in a great A.L. East race.

Through the crackling, I heard, I believe, Bill O’Donnell, a great broadcaster and acquaintance of Lenny Nadel, call it and then came the calls from acquaintances, Jewish and not, /Yankees fans, who would never have pitched to Tommy.

1962 was an incredible year overall and certainly in baseball, (by the way get David Krell’s great book regarding 1962) in which Maury Wills stole a then record 104 bases and Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda also had great years, as the Giants overcame the Dodgers to win the N.L. 

That season, Tommy Davis won the first of 2 straight batting titles “baking–(Dusty Baker is #12 because Tommy was his player growing up) .346 with 230 hits and an incredible 153 runs batted in, with just 27 home runs. In short, a phenomenal year!!

In ’63 Davis hit .400 in the World Series as the Dodgers swept the two time champion, Yankees.

Life goes on, this is yet another blow, as was “leaving $ on the table during a bad “tournie”–(by the way Dick Schaap on my “Tribute to Marty Glickman Show,” also in December ’92, said Tommy Davis was as good a basketball player as any, during a great era of such, in New York City), yet my recollections of Tommy (he did not remember the ’76 game) will always resonate. They better!!

Click below for a past post on the two Willie and Tommy Davises, who sadly all are gone (not forgotten) now. › 2015/03/04 › tommy-davis-andTommy Davis and Willie Davis, and Tommy Davis and Willie 


Tommy Davis 1958.jpeg

Tommy Davis, pictured above.

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