Minnesota Twins Opening Day Countdown: 30 Ron Davis saves in 1983

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 06: A ball is seen in the glove of Cesar Hernandez
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 06: A ball is seen in the glove of Cesar Hernandez /

The Minnesota Twins are just 30 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.

Today we remember a single season performance from a former Twins relief pitcher who stands 5th on the Twins all-time saves list. He was also the third Twins closer to reach 30 saves in a season. Ron Davis accomplished that feat in 1983 when he saved 30 games for the Twins.

Davis entered professional baseball after being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 1976 draft. He was then included as the “Player to be Named Later” in a trade as he became a New York Yankee. It was with the Yankees he got his chance as a closer when Rich “Goose” Gossage was injured. Davis also pitched with a healthy Gossage and became the games first set-up man, a very common role in today’s game of baseball.

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Davis was traded to the Twins in 1982 with Paul Boris and Greg Gagne in exchange for Roy Smalley. Davis’ best season with the Twins was that 1983 season listed above in which he reached 30 saves. He pitched 89 innings that season held a 3.34 ERA and a 128 ERA+.

Davis will also always go down as a closer who got a lot of saves but also blew a lot of saves as well. In 1983, he gave up at least one run in 20 appearances and multiple runs in 9 of the 66 games he pitched in. That helped Davis rack up two blown saves and eight losses on the season, making his 30 saves maybe that much more remarkable in ways (not good ways to be clear).

Unfortunately for Davis, he would never be part of a successful Twins team, that would come right after he was traded in 1986. Davis’ end as a member of the Twins came in the form of an August trade that sent him to the Chicago Cubs along with Dewayne Coleman for Julius McDougal, Ray Fontenot, and George Frazier. That season’s performance and trade would signal the end of Davis as a closer, but he would continue to pitch in relief for the Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Fransisco Giants through the 1988 season.

Next: 5 best Twins starting rotations of all-time

One day closer to Opening Day and we remember an accomplished closer in terms of the number in the save column, but someone who frustrated fans as well with the way he got or didn’t get to that save and win. Today we remember Ron Davis and his 30 saves in 1983.