When Chris Davis met with reporters Sunday to discuss his 2013 Most Valuable Oriole award, he was asked if one of the 53 homers he hit this year was his most memorable.
His answer was interesting. It wasn’t No. 1 or No. 50, which tied Brady Anderson’s single-season club record. It was not even No. 51, which broke that record. It was a homer he hit Friday Sept. 6 against the Chicago White Sox and lefty John Danks.
“When I was getting close to 50, I hit one off Danks,” Davis remembered. “I’m not sure what number it was, maybe it was 49 (actually No. 48), but I had really been struggling a couple of weeks before that. I felt like I was honestly never going to hit another home run.
“It was not even about getting the record as much as it was being a force in the lineup at such a crucial point in the season. I was a little down on myself and actually, the at-bat before, I squibbed one up the middle and then stole second base.”
“John stepped off the back of the mound and I’ve known him since I was in Texas. He said, ‘I thought you were supposed to be a power hitter.’
“I kind of laughed a little bit. Then I took him deep the next at-bat, which kind of showed him,” Davis said as reporters laughed. “It was one of those where I saw everybody else get fired up and I realized not only how much it meant to me but how much it meant to the guys around me.
“You can’t say enough about my teammates. I can’t imagine coming into a clubhouse where you dread going into it every day. It is really nice to know that I am welcome in there every day.”
If you are an Orioles fan you have to feel good - not only about Davis’ considerable talents, but about how well he carries himself as a player and person also.
Davis let it be known a few times during that last homestand that he is very open to signing a new long-term deal with the Orioles.
One reporter remarked to Davis that it appeared that vice president Dan Duquette was eager to get him signed long term. He asked Davis if he was just as eager for that.
“I think I’m eagerer,” Davis responded.
The Baltimore community embraced Davis and it is clear the feeling is mutual.
“Jill and I, every time we go out, we see somebody and they are very complimentary. They are good people and there is a lot to be said for that,” Davis said.
“I know it was tough to be a fan here for a long time. I hope the last couple of years have restored the faith of the fan base 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 number of years.”
It seems the consensus is that Davis will be among the top finishers for the American League MVP award, but that he likely won’t win it.
I guess I can see that, but Davis presents one strong resume. His 96 extra-base hits this year led the majors by 21 over Mike Trout and Paul Goldschmidt.
Since 1871, only five players have led the majors in extra-base hits by a margin of 20 or more:
* Babe Ruth (plus-36 in 1921).
* Lou Gehrig (plus-20 in 1927).
* Stan Musial (plus-22 in 1948).
* Albert Belle (plus-22 in 1995).
* Chris Davis (plus-21 in 2013).
If Davis doesn’t finish first on many ballots for the MVP award, I would at least expect that his strong resume has given the voters a lot to think about.