Minnesota Twins Opening Day Countdown: 44, Chili Davis
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins are just 44 days away from Opening Day in Baltimore. As we near that day, here is more Twins history related to that number!
The Minnesota Twins are preparing for a 2018 season with expectation after making the playoffs in 2017 as a Wild Card team. We will highlight numbers from team history that represent the number of days until Opening Day on March 29th in Baltimore.
The next player in our countdown wasn’t with the Twins for very long, but his presence will certainly be remembered. Chili Davis was born in Kingston, Jamaica on January 17, 1960. When Davis would make his major league debut with the San Fransisco Giants in 1981 he would become the first ever Jamaican-American player to play in the majors.
Davis came into the league as an outfielder and played 7 seasons with the Giants where he made two All-Star games before signing as a free agent with the California Angels. Davis would spend three seasons with the Angels, during which time he would begin the transition from outfielder to a full-time designated hitter.
After finishing in last place in 1990, the Twins signed Davis as a free agent on January 29, 1991. Even though the Twins had finished in last place the season before, Davis was able to come in and join what was really an offensive lineup that already had some pretty nice pieces to it.
During that championship season, the switch-hitting Davis hit .277/.385/.507 and added 29 home runs, 34 doubles, 93 RBIs. Davis also led the Twins in several statistical categories including, home runs, RBIs, doubles, walks (95), intentional walks (13), times on base (244), games played (153), slugging average, OBP, OPS (.892), and home run frequency (18.4 at bat per HR).
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His postseason performance only added to the way Davis would be remembered by Twins fans. In the ALCS he slashed .294/.455/.866 and when it came time for the World Series Davis hit two crucial home runs to drive in 4 runs on the way to help he and his team to win a World Series ring.
1992 wasn’t nearly as memorable of a season for what served as Davis’ last season with the Twins. He hit .288/.386/.439 and 12 home runs and 27 doubles. While still solid, the Twins would not resign Davis as he would return to the California Angels.
After his playing days, Davis would turn to coaching. He has now held three major league coaching positions, all as the hitting coach. His first stop was with the Oakland Athletics from 2012-2014. He then moved to the Boston Red Sox for the 2015-2017 seasons. For the 2018 season, he will start his tenure with the Chicago Cubs as their hitting coach.
Next: Minnesota Twins 5 best catching groups all-time
As spring training is upon us, we countdown to Opening Day by remembering a fond #44 from Twins history, Chili Davis