Kiddo Davis

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George Willis Davis

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Biographical Information[edit]

George "Kiddo" Davis made eight stops during his eight-year major league career as an outfielder, and hit .381 in the two World Series he appeared in. Notably, in the 1933 World Series with the New York Giants, he batted fifth in the lineup behind Bill Terry and Mel Ott.

Davis was born in Bridgeport, CT in 1902, attended New York University, and got his first taste of the majors in 1926 appearing in one game with the New York Yankees at age 24. The Yankees won the pennant, but Davis did not appear in the World Series. Davis was one year older than the 23-year-old Lou Gehrig, and he was two years older than fellow rookie Tony Lazzeri. He was to run into both of them ten years later.

After his one game with the Yankees in 1926, he disappeared from the major leagues for six years until 1932, when he emerged as a regular outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies hitting .309 at the age of 30. He was in the top ten in the National League in runs scored, in doubles, and in stolen bases. The .309 wasn't as impressive as it sounded, though, as the team hit .292 with six of the eight regulars over .300. Fellow outfielder Chuck Klein hit .348.

After one year with the Phillies, he went on to the New York Giants for one year, the pennant-winning 1933 season, when he played in the outfield with Mel Ott. Davis hit only .258 on a team that hit .263, and he was on the move again after the season.

He started 1934 with the St. Louis Cardinals, the famous Gas House Gang, but the Phillies decided they wanted him back and he played the bulk of 1934 for them. He hit .293 (the Phillies hit .284 as a team), and in 1935 he was back with the New York Giants. Although he didn't play much, apparently being used often as a pinch hitter, he was with the Giants for 1935, 1936, and part of 1937. Managed by his former teammate, player/manager Bill Terry, the Giants were very competitive in 1935 and won the pennant in 1936.

In the 1936 World Series, Davis appeared in 4 games, getting only 2 at-bats. His one hit was a pinch-hit single off Lefty Gomez in the 4th inning of Game 2 against his old team, the New York Yankees. Although it had been ten years since Davis had appeared with the Yankees, his old teammates Lou Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri were still there, with Gehrig getting 3 RBI in the game and Lazzeri getting 5.

In 1937, the Cincinnati Reds bought Davis from the Giants in August, while the Giants went on to win the pennant again. He finished the season with Cincinnati, and then appeared in 5 games with the Reds in 1938 before being released on August 1st.

He is in the New York University Athletics Hall of Fame.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Don Harrison: "George 'Kiddo' Davis", in Charles F. Faber, ed.: The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals: The World Champion Gas House Gang, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 69-73. ISBN 978-1-933599-731

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