|Catcher / Manager|
|Born:December 20, 1904|
|Died: August 14, 1984 79) (aged|
|April 30, 1928, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 5, 1945, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Runs batted in||647|
|Career highlights and awards|
Virgil Lawrence "Spud" Davis (December 20, 1904 – August 14, 1984) was an American professional baseball player, coach, scout and manager.He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, and Pittsburgh Pirates. Davis' .308 career batting average ranks fourth all-time among major league catchers.
Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.
In baseball, a number of coaches assist in the smooth functioning of a team. They are assistants to the manager, who determines the lineup and decides how to substitute players during the game. Beyond the manager, more than a half dozen coaches may assist the manager in running the team. Essentially, baseball coaches are analogous to assistant coaches in other sports, as the baseball manager is to the head coach.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Davis began his professional baseball career in 1926 at the age of 21, playing for the Gulfport Tarpons of the Cotton States League.After posting a .356 batting average in 27 games for Gulfport, he was sent to play for the Reading Keystones of the International League where he hit for a .308 average in 137 games during the 1927 season.
Birmingham is a city in the north central region of the U.S. state of Alabama. With an estimated 2017 population of 210,710, it is the most populous city in Alabama. Birmingham is the seat of Jefferson County, Alabama's most populous and fifth largest county. As of 2017, the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 1,149,807, making it the most populous in Alabama and 49th-most populous in the United States. Birmingham serves as an important regional hub and is associated with the Deep South, Piedmont, and Appalachian regions of the nation.
Professional baseball is played in leagues throughout the world. In these leagues and associated farm teams, baseball players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system.
Davis made his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals on April 30, 1928 however, after only two games, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.He began as a second-string catcher with the Phillies behind Walt Lerian but, by the end of the 1929 season, he had taken over as the starting catcher with a .342 batting average along with 7 home runs and 48 runs batted in. That season would mark the first of seven consecutive seasons with batting averages above the .300 mark. In 1933, he finished second to team-mate Chuck Klein in the National League Batting Championship with a .349 average. His .395 on-base percentage was also the second highest in the league. Davis ended the season ranked 25th in the National League Most Valuable Player Award voting, despite the fact that the Phillies finished in seventh place.
The 1928 Philadelphia Phillies season was a season in Major League Baseball. The Phillies finished eighth in the National League with a record of 43 wins and 109 losses.
Walter "Peck" Irvin Lerian was an American professional baseball player who played two seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1928 through 1929. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland and died there at the age of 26 when a truck leaped the curb and he was pinned against a building ending what was considered at the time to be a promising major league career.
The following lists the events of the 1929 Philadelphia Phillies season.
In November 1933, Davis was traded back to the St. Louis Cardinals for catcher Jimmie Wilson.He platooned alongside left-handed hitting catcher Bill DeLancey, posting a .300 batting average in 107 games on a Cardinals team that became known as the Gashouse Gang for their colorful, extroverted personalities. The Cardinals won the 1934 National League pennant and, went on to defeat the Detroit Tigers in the 1934 World Series. In his only post-season appearance Davis played in two games in the seven-game series, with two hits in two at bats.
James Wilson, nicknamed "Ace," was an American professional athlete in soccer and baseball. He began his professional sports career as a soccer outside right in the National Association Football League and American Soccer League before becoming a catcher, manager and coach in Major League Baseball. Wilson was the starting catcher for the National League in baseball's first All-Star game. He threw and batted right-handed and was listed at 6 ft 1 1⁄2 in (187 cm) tall and 200 pounds (91 kg).
The platoon system in baseball or football is a method directing the situational substitution of players to create tactical advantage.
William Pinkney DeLancey was an American professional baseball player during the 1930s. As a 22-year-old rookie catcher in 1934, he helped to lead the St. Louis Cardinals' fabled Gashouse Gang team to the world championship; but, after only one more full big-league season, he was stricken with tuberculosis, effectively ending his playing career.
Davis had another good season in 1935 with a .317 batting average, 60 runs batted in and led National League catchers in fielding percentage however, the Cardinals slipped to second place in the standings.In 1936, his batting average dipped to .273 and in December of that year, he would be traded to the Cincinnati Reds. Davis served as a reserve catcher in 1937, working behind future Hall of Fame member Ernie Lombardi. In June 1938, he was traded back to the Philadelphia Phillies. Davis rebounded in 1939, posting a .307 batting average in 87 games. He was purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates in October 1939 and continued to hit well in 1940 with a .326 batting average in 99 games. By 1941, Al López, another future Hall of Fame member, had taken over the Pirates starting catcher's role and, in 1942, Davis took a role as a coach for the Pirates. Due to player shortages during the Second World War, Davis returned to the playing field in 1944, appearing in 54 games for the Pirates and posting a .301 batting average at the age of 39. He appeared in 23 games in 1945 before retiring as a major league player at the age of 40.
The 1935 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 54th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 44th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 96–58 during the season and finished 2nd in the National League.
In baseball statistics, fielding percentage, also known as fielding average, is a measure that reflects the percentage of times a defensive player properly handles a batted or thrown ball. It is calculated by the sum of putouts and assists, divided by the number of total chances.
The 1936 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 55th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 45th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 87–67 during the season and finished 2nd in the National League.
He continued as a coach and a scout for the Pirates and, briefly managed the team when manager Frankie Frisch resigned in September of 1946.After playing with the minor league Alexander City Millers in 1947 and 1948, he returned to work as a coach with the Chicago Cubs from 1950 to 1953 before retiring from baseball.
In baseball, the field manager is the equivalent of a head coach who is responsible for overseeing and making final decisions on all aspects of on-field team strategy, lineup selection, training and instruction. Managers are typically assisted by a staff of assistant coaches whose responsibilities are specialized. Field managers are typically not involved in off-field personnel decisions or long-term club planning, responsibilities that are instead held by a team's general manager.
Frank Francis Frisch, nicknamed The Fordham Flash or The Old Flash, was an American Major League Baseball player and manager of the first half of the twentieth century.
The 1946 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 65th season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 60th in the National League. The Pirates finished seventh in the league standings with a record of 63–91.
In a sixteen-year major league career, Davis played in 1,458 games, accumulating 1,312 hits in 4,255 at bats for a .308 career batting average along with 77 home runs, 647 runs batted in and a .369 on-base percentage.He ended his career with a .984 fielding percentage. Davis hit over .300 ten times in sixteen years. At the time of his retirement, Davis' .308 career batting average was second only to Mickey Cochrane all-time among major league catchers. As of 2010, he ranks fourth all-time among career batting averages for catchers behind Joe Mauer, Mickey Cochrane and Bill Dickey.
Davis led National League catchers twice in fielding percentage, once in assists and once in baserunners caught stealing.During his playing days, he was twice traded for the same player, fellow catcher Jimmie Wilson. These trades happened between the Phillies and Cardinals five years apart in 1928 and 1933. In 1977, Davis was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Davis died in Birmingham, Alabama, at age 79, and is buried there.
Benito Santiago Rivera, is a Puerto Rican former professional baseball catcher, who played for twenty seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). Although he played for ten different teams, perhaps his greatest success came with his first team, the San Diego Padres. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Santiago was considered the premier catcher in the National League (NL).
Charles Leo "Gabby" Hartnett, nicknamed "Old Tomato Face", was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played almost his entire career in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the Chicago Cubs, from 1922 to 1940. He spent the final season of his career as a player-coach for the New York Giants in 1941. After his playing career, he continued his involvement in baseball as a coach and as a minor league manager.
Fury Gene Tenace, better known as Gene Tenace, is an American former professional baseball player and coach in Major League Baseball. He was a catcher and first baseman from 1969 through 1983. Tenace was drafted by the Kansas City Athletics from Valley High School in Lucasville, Ohio and played for the Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He batted and threw right-handed. Tenace was one of the top catchers of his era and won the 1972 World Series Most Valuable Player Award. After his playing days ended, Tenace coached for several organizations, most notably for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Jody Richard Davis is an American former professional baseball player and current minor league coach. He was a catcher in the Major League Baseball with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves from 1981 to 1990. He is currently the manager of the Louisville Bats in the Cincinnati Reds organization.
Ted Lyle Simmons is an American former professional baseball player and coach. A switch-hitter, Simmons was a catcher for most of his Major League Baseball career with the St. Louis Cardinals (1968–80), the Milwaukee Brewers (1981–85) and the Atlanta Braves (1986–88). Although he was often overshadowed by his contemporary, Johnny Bench, Simmons is considered one of the best hitting catchers in Major League baseball history. While he didn't possess Bench's power hitting ability, he hit for a higher batting average. A volatile competitor with an intense desire to win, Simmons once fought with teammate John Denny during a game at Busch Memorial Stadium, in the runway between the club house and the dugout.
Forrest Harrill "Smoky" Burgess, was an American professional baseball catcher / pinch hitter, coach, and scout, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1949 to 1967. Later in his career, Burgess became known for his abilities as an elite pinch hitter, setting the MLB career record for career pinch-hits with 145. During his playing days, he stood 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) tall, weighing 188 pounds (85 kg). Burgess batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
James Luther Sewell was an American professional baseball player, coach and manager. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators (1933–1934), Chicago White Sox (1935–1938) and the St. Louis Browns (1942). Sewell batted and threw right-handed. He was regarded as one of the best defensive catchers of his era.
August Rodney Mancuso, nicknamed "Blackie", was an American professional baseball player, coach, scout and radio sports commentator. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants, Chicago Cubs (1939), Brooklyn Dodgers (1940) and Philadelphia Phillies (1945).
John Anthony Romano Jr. was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians (1960–1964) and St. Louis Cardinals (1967). He threw and batted right-handed. A four-time All-Star, Romano was considered one of the top catchers in the American League during the early 1960s.
William Killefer was an American professional baseball player, coach and manager who had a 48-year career in Major League Baseball. Killefer, who was nicknamed "Reindeer Bill" due to his speed afoot, played as a catcher for the St. Louis Browns, Philadelphia Phillies, and Chicago Cubs. He is remembered for being Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander's favorite catcher and for being one of the finest defensive catchers of his era.
Philip Samuel Masi was an American professional baseball player. From 1939 though 1952, he played in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the Boston Braves (1939–1949), Pittsburgh Pirates (1949) and Chicago White Sox (1950–1952). Although he was known for being one of the best defensive catchers of his era, Masi was notable for his involvement in a controversial play that occurred during the 1948 World Series between the Boston Braves and the Cleveland Indians.
Manuel De Jesus Sanguillén Magan, better known as Manny Sanguillén or "Sangy", is a Panamanian former professional baseball player who was a catcher in the Major Leagues. He was named to the All-Star team three times, in 1971, 1972, and 1975. He played primarily for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but also for the Oakland Athletics in 1977. With the Pirates, he won the 1971 World Series and the 1979 World Series, both over the Baltimore Orioles. Sanguillen's lifetime batting average of .296 is the fourth-highest by a catcher since World War II, and tenth-highest for catchers in Major League Baseball history.
Harry Sterling Wolverton, nicknamed "Fighting Harry", was an American professional baseball player. He played all or part of nine seasons in Major League Baseball from 1898 through 1905 and 1912. He played for the Chicago Orphans, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Senators, Boston Beaneaters, and New York Highlanders, primarily as a third baseman. He also managed the Highlanders in 1912.
William Florine Sarni was an American professional baseball player who played as a catcher in the Major Leagues. A native of Los Angeles, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Giants (1956).
David Martin Rader is an American former professional baseball player. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball from 1971 through 1980, with the San Francisco Giants (1971–1976), St. Louis Cardinals (1977), Chicago Cubs (1978), Philadelphia Phillies (1979) and Boston Red Sox (1980). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
John Beverley Gooch was an American professional baseball player, coach, minor league manager and scout. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher from 1921 to 1933, most notably for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The 1933 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished eighth and last in the National League with a record of 58–94, 33 games behind the New York Giants.
Lemuel Floyd Young was a professional baseball player. He played all or part of ten years in Major League Baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1933–40), Cincinnati Reds (1941) and St. Louis Cardinals, primarily as a second baseman.
Clarence James "Bubber" Jonnard was a Major League Baseball catcher. He played for the Chicago White Sox in 1920, the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1922, the Philadelphia Phillies in 1926, 1927 and 1935, and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1929. He played 103 Major League games with 235 at bats, 54 hits, no home runs and 20 RBIs. His lifetime batting average was .230, with a .267 on-base percentage and a .268 slugging percentage. As a fielder, he caught 86 games with a fielding percentage of .960. On December 13, 1927, he was part of a trade in which the Phillies received pitcher Jimmy Ring and catcher Johnny Schulte from the Cardinals in exchange for Jonnard, infielder Jimmy Cooney and outfielder Johnny Mokan. He served as a coach for the New York Giants from 1942 to 1946. He also served as a scout for the Giants, Kansas City Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets. Players he signed as Mets' scout included Ed Kranepool, Nino Espinosa, Mike Jorgensen, Ken Singleton and Leroy Stanton.
Antonio Francisco Peña Padilla is a Dominican former professional baseball player, manager and coach. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball for the Pirates, Cardinals, Red Sox, Indians, White Sox, and Astros. After his playing career, Peña was the manager of the Kansas City Royals between 2002 and 2005. He was most recently the first base coach for the New York Yankees. A four-time Gold Glove Award winner, Peña was known for his defensive abilities as well as his unorthodox squat behind home plate.