Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Willie Davis was a Texas Ranger

Willie Davis recently passed away. This was mentioned by GCRL and Night Owl and perhaps elsewhere as well. I don't want to rehash his entire career here, but I heard a funny story on the radio about Willie and his brief time as a Texas Ranger.

Willie Davis played 18 years in the Majors and appeared in a total of 2,429 games. Only 42 of those games came in a Rangers uniform in 1975. Willie Davis came and left Texas via trades.

On 12-05-1974, Davis was traded by the Montreal Expos to the Rangers for Don Stanhouse and Pete Mackanin.
On 06-04-1975, he was traded by the Rangers to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ed Brinkman and Tommy Moore.

During his 42 games in Texas, Davis had 169 at bats, 5 homeruns and 17 RBIs. He hit .249 and stole 13 bases. More importantly, he was involved in a funny moment in Rangers history just before he was traded to the Cardinals.

It was May 26, 1975. The Boston Red Sox were visiting Texas. Rick Wise was on the mound for Boston. He threw a brush back pitch at Willie Davis. Davis was a little upset by this and fully expected Rangers pitcher Steve Hargan to retaliate.

Hargan refused to retaliate and Davis didn't like that at all. Davis decided to stage a little protest and sat down in centerfield. According to the story as it was told on the radio, several pitches were thrown before anyone on the Rangers noticed Davis was sitting on the ground. Fortunately there were no balls hit to center during Davis' protest. Davis was traded 9 days later and I wonder if his actions that day had anything to do with the trade.
RIP Willie.


  1. Great story. More players need to try that. Hargan must have been nuts. He should have been the one traded. As Bob Gibson says, you gotta protect your guys.

  2. Great story. That is what I love about Blogoland. You find so many great stories you never knew about.

  3. What was not mentioned in that game was Willie Davis homered off of Wise in the 7th and it was a 2 run homer with Lenny Randle aboard --- Willie pretty much owned Wise his whole career batting a good .311 over 61 at bats with 19 hits ---
    Davis was traded to St Louis and tore up NL pitching the remainder of the season coming in 2nd in the NL Player of the month voting for August ---
    If Hargan would have been a bit more loyal the Rangers may have competed in 75 like they did in 74 but it was not to be as Willie's bat carried St Louis from 5th place to 2 games out of 1st in Sept but the Cards faltered down the stretch --- WAY TO GO 3-DOG !!!