“The Jamaican Sensation”: Chili Davis

QUICK HITS

Position: Outfielder/Designated Hitter

Teams

  • San Francisco Giants (1981-1987)
  • California Angels (1988-1990, 1993-1996)
  • Minnesota Twins (1991-1992)
  • Kansas City Royals (1997)
  • New York Yankees (1998-1999)

Notables

  • First Jamaican-born player to play in the Major Leagues
  • 3-time All-Star (1984, 1986, 1994)
  • 3-time World Series Champion (1991, 1998, 1999)
  • 10 seasons of 20 or more home runs
  • Had 350 home runs and 1,372 RBI over his 19-year MLB career
  • Ranks 4th all-time for career home runs by a switch hitter (behind Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray, and Chipper Jones)
  • Full name is Charles Theodore Davis

Chili Davis had an outstanding 19-year career in the Major Leagues as an outfielder and designated hitter. He made his Major League debut in 1981 with the San Francisco Giants. The following year (his first full season) he hit .261 with 19 HR and 76 RBI and finished 4th in NL Rookie of the Year voting (Rookies of the Year that year were Cal Ripken Jr. and Steve Sax). In 1984 he was named an All-Star for the first time (.315, 21 HR, 81 RBI) and returned to the All-Star game in 1986. He signed as a free agent with the Angels in 1988, played 3 seasons with them, then spent 2 years in Minnesota where he won his first World Series as a member of the ’91 Twins. Although he wasn’t an All-Star that year, Davis had a stellar season (.277, 29 HR, 93 RBI) and played a key role in helping the Twins win the title. His next All-Star year was in 1994 (.311, 26 HR, 84 RBI) during his second stint with the Angels. He spent one season in Kansas City in 1997 and interestingly enough hit the most home runs he had ever hit in a season (30), despite being 37 years old. Davis finished his career with the New York Yankees (1998-1999) and retired as a back-to-back World Series champion.

How did Charles Theodore Davis become Chili Davis? Legend has it that in 6th grade, Davis got a bad haircut that one of his friends responded to by asking, “How’d the barber cut your hair, with a chili bowl?” The name “Chili Bowl” stuck, and was eventually shortened to Chili. (Numerous sources tell this story, including this one. I don’t know why everyone says it was a bad haircut. Personally, I think that’s a sweet haircut 8) )

Davis has the most awesomely disappointing website of any Random Forgotten Player. Check it out for yourself: www.chilidavis.net. Prepare to be wow’d by the intro, then stuck trying to figure out what the hell you can actually do on that site.

When Davis played for the Giants, he apparently hated their home stadium, Candlestick Park, which is why he decided to sign a free agent contract with the Angels in 1988. In fact, the first Google Image result for Chili Davis is him holding a stick of dynamite over Candlestick with the phrase, “How does Chili Davis really feel about Candlestick Park?”

The image is grabbed off a page that ranks Davis as the #23 greatest Angel of all-time.

Hungry for some Chili Davis? Go to a Hudson Valley Renegades game and order a Chili Davis wrap.

Or, schedule a round of golf with him.

Chili Davis with a base hit in the 1998 World Series:

What a great name for a dog:

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