Chili Davis

The native of Kingston, Jamaica was another in the long line of outfielders developed by the Giants. His nickname was originally Chili Bowl, resulting from a bad haircut he received as a sixth-grader. Following a string of productive seasons and two All Star nods with San Francisco, the switch-hitter signed with the Angels as a free agent after the 1987 season to escape Candlestick Park, which he hated. He drove in 93 runs with California in 1988, but shattered the Angels team record for outfield errors with a league-leading 19, fielding just .942. He did lead NL OF in assists in 1982, and when he led in errors in 1986, his nine errors tied the ML record for fewest errors by a league leader.

Spurred by his defensive shortcomings, in 1990 Davis moved from fulltime outfield duty to a designated hitter role. The switch became permanent the following season, when he signed with the Twins. Helping Minnesota rise from a last-place finish the year before to an AL West title in 1991, Davis clubbed 29 homers and drove in 93 runs while batting .293. He added two more home runs in the World Series as the Twins completed their amazing turnaround season with a seven-game triumph over the Atlanta Braves. His power numbers tailed off in 1992 (12 home runs and 66 RBIs), but when he hit the free-agent market Davis once again found the Angels eager to add him to their lineup.

California was rewarded with four years of solid production from Davis, including a career-high 112 RBIs in 1993, a .311 batting average with 26 home runs and 84 RBIs in the strike-shortened 1994 season (when he garnered his third All Star selection) and a .292 mark, 28 circuit blasts and 96 RBIs in 1996. In October 1996 the Angels traded him to Kansas City for starter Mark Gubicza. In his one season with the Royals he belted a career-high 30 home runs while driving in 90.

Davis would spend his final two seasons winning a pair of World Championships as an elder statesman of sorts with the Yankees. In 1998, as New York cruised to an AL record 114 wins he missed nearly all but the last six weeks of the season with an ankle injury suffered in spring training. After a hot start to the 1999 season, Davis cooled off in the second half but still finished his final major-league campaign with 19 home runs and 78 RBIs. At the time of his retirement only Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray (whom he once called “My all-time favorite hitter”) had topped his 350 career home runs among switch-hitters.