After winning the Most Valuable Oriole award for 2013, Chris Davis spent some time thanking the players around him who he said helped him have such a big year.
“I realize how fortunate I am, not only to be wearing this uniform but to be around the people I am,” Davis said. “I wouldn’t even have gotten close to where I was this year without Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Nate McLouth, Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy. I could go on and on all day. It’s a special group of guys.
“Growing up, even in the minor leagues when you start to get an idea of what you might be capable of, I always thought 40 was a big number and I never dreamed of hitting 50 home runs, much less breaking the single-season (Orioles) record.
“But if I didn’t have the guys in front of me and behind me in the lineup I would not have been here. I’ve had a good year but it’s been a combination of lot of people’s good years.”
Before his trade to the Orioles in July of 2011, Davis spent several seasons trying to establish himself as an every day player. It finally happened for him here in Baltimore.
“I really struggled for two years,” he said. “I just got to the point where, I quit worrying so much about the results and started looking at the work and preparation that went into it. I can’t say enough about how much it has meant to come here and play every day. Plus when you have a clubhouse where you can go to every day and feel like part of a family, that makes things a lot easier.”
Davis has compiled one of the greatest offensive seasons in major league history. Entering today’s finale, he had a club-record and MLB-leading 53 homers and 96 extra-base hits. His 138 RBIs were most in the majors and fourth-most in O’s history and his 370 total bases were a new club record. He also ranked in the top three in the American League in slugging (2nd, .634); OPS (2nd, 1.003); runs (tied for 2nd, 103) and doubles (tied for 3rd, 42). Davis is only the third player in MLB history to hit at least 50 home runs and 40 doubles in a season, joining Babe Ruth and Albert Belle.
Those are some stunning numbers, but numbers he hasn’t really taken the time yet to sit back and reflect on.
“I haven’t really sat down and started thinking about, not only what the numbers say, but really what I’ve been through this year,” Davis said. “First All-Star game, being the leading vote getter. There have been so many things that I could have never imagined happened. Maybe when I get home and sleep for about 18 hours, I’ll think about it.”
With an MVO under his belt, now Davis will await the results of the MVP voting in the AL.
“To even be in the discussion is a huge honor,” Davis said. “I feel like every year they should just give it to Miguel Cabrera. The guy is such a dominant hitter. Mike Trout is having an outstanding year. It is humbling to even be mentioned with those guys. There is a reason we’ve why we’ve all had the years we’ve had and it’s the guys around us.”
Davis was asked again today about staying and playing in Baltimore long term. He said early this week he was very open to signing a long-term contract here and reiterated that today.
“I know it was tough to be a fan here for a long time,” Davis said. “I hope the last couple of years have restored the faith of the fanbase and given them something to cheer about. I can’t think of a better place to hit for the rest of my career. I have had so many good memories here in two years, I’d love to extend that for a numbers of years.”