Jerry DaVanon

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Frank Gerald DaVanon

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Biographical Information[edit]

Father of Jeff DaVanon, Jerry DaVanon was a journeyman who found hitting success with the Houston Astros late in his career.

DaVanon was originally drafted by Houston in 1965 but felt that he wouldn't make it as an outfielder so he stayed in college and developed skills as an infielder.

After attending San Diego City College and San Diego Mesa College (his coach moved from City to Mesa), he graduated from Westmont College with a degree in social sciences and received a teaching certification from San Diego State University. His off-season job after that was substitute teaching. Tommy Lasorda scouted him when he played for Westmont.

In pro ball, he started in Little Rock, but also played in the rookie league and in Single A his first year. He was additionally in Rochester, Salt Lake City, Tulsa and Iowa in the minors, and played in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

When he was told in 1975 that the Astros wanted him up in the majors, he originally said he didn't want to go because he was hitting well in Iowa and had a teaching job lined up for September when the minor league season ended.

After his good season in 1976, he was in the process of selling his home and buying one in Houston, thinking that he would spend several years with the Astros. At that point, he was told he had been traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. But since he was getting the house, he stayed as a Texas resident and as of 2005 still lived there and worked for a specialty metals company. He also officiated high school basketball.

Also following the '76 season, he was a contestant on The Hollywood Squares. (Incidentally, the program's host, Peter Marshall, is the father of one of DaVannon's contemporaries, Pete LaCock.)

Main source: Interview with Jerry DaVanon

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