Although he never played in the white major leagues, Davis teamed with future major leaguer Artie Wilson to form one of the outstanding double play combinations in Negro League ball. He hit a team-leading .353 and led the Negro National League in RBI as player-manager of the 1948 Birmingham Black Barons, leading them to the World Series. At Birmingham from 1948 to 1950, he managed Willie Mays. In 1951 Davis became the first black signed by the Red Sox. An outstanding all-around athlete, he also played basketball for the Harlem Globetrotters.