#5 Storm Davis
Random Thoughts: While at times a quality right-handed starter, Storm Davis is probably best remembered for pitching on three American League pennant winning clubs, two of them World Champions.
After being drafted by Baltimore in 1979, Davis made his big league splash in '82, fashioning an 8-4 record while promising to be a big part of the Orioles rotation. He went 13-7 the following year playing a key role in Baltimore's championship run, pitching six shutout innings in a no decision in the ALCS against the White Sox and winning his only start during the World Series. Davis showed no signs of slowing down in '84 going 14-9 with 10 complete games, 2 shutouts and allowing only 7 homers in 35 starts. But by 1985 his ERA lingered near 5.00 and it would signal a gradual decline in Davis' career. He was traded during the off season in '86 to San Diego but the change of leagues made little difference. After going 2-7 with a 6.18 ERA for the Padres, Davis was traded again, this time to Oakland where a brief stay in the bullpen late in the year seemed to remedy his problems.
In 1988 Davis rebounded nicely pitching for the American League champs going 16-7 and received AL comeback player of the year honors. He pitched six shutout innings in a no decision against Boston in the ALCS but lost both of his starts versus the Dodgers in the World Series. Next season proved even better as Davis went 19-7. After losing the only game the A's lost to Toronto in the ALCS, Davis was slated to pitch game four of the World Series in San Francisco when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit. Game three would end up being postponed ten days. When play resumed rather than start Davis in game four, manager Tony LaRussa opted to reuse game one and two starters Dave Stewart and Mike Moore. Davis would have started game six if it was necessary. LaRussa's strategy worked as Oakland won the series but Davis was publicly upset, opting to leave for Kansas City as a free agent. Pitching for the losing Royals did little to help Davis' stats and he sank back into mediocrity. Traded back to Baltimore, Davis found a home in middle relief and turned in a respectable '92 campaign going 7-3 with 4 saves. After a brief return to Oakland, Davis finished his career in Detroit's bullpen in '94.
The Card Itself: Even when I pulled this card as a kid I thought the cropping of the photo was a bit odd. Although I have to admit it does give the cool appearance of Davis jumping out of the card.
Did You Know?: According to his 1987 Topps baseball card, Davis' nickname came from a character in a book his mother was reading while she was pregnant. His proper given name is George Earl Davis. Also, the day I posted this the east coast got slammed with a snow storm. No joke.
Where Are They Now?: Davis was named head baseball coach at The Bolles School in August 2008.
'90 Fleer Counters:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: 1
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: 1
GOLD GLOVE: 0
SILVER SLUGGER: 1