Former Dodgers Gather To Celebrate The Life Of Tommy Davis

Former Los Angeles Dodgers great Tommy Davis, a two-time National League batting champion, and a three-time World Series champion, passed away on April 3 at the age of 83 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Davis spent eight seasons with the Dodgers from 1959 to 1966 and during that time he played with some of the organization’s most beloved players and became a part of Dodgers’ history.

A celebration of life for Davis’ passing was recently held at Dodgers Stadium.

A number of teammates, former executives, friends, and members of the Davis family were in attendance during the ceremony, according to Mark Langill of Dodgers Insider:

Among the featured speakers paying tribute to Davis during the Centerfield Plaza program were former Dodger team president Peter O’Malley and former All-Star catcher Mike Scioscia. Former Dodger players in attendance included Jerry Reuss, Bill Russell, Al Ferrara, Nate Oliver, Derrel Thomas, Ken Landreaux, Rudy Law, Lee Lacy, Wes Parker and Steve Yeager. The program was emceed by Jack DeLance, Davis’ friend and business agent.

“He gave so much of himself to all of us,” Scioscia said. “Tommy was a statue among statues and a great, great baseball player. And I think if he didn’t break his ankle in 1965, you’d be looking at a Tommy Davis plaque in Cooperstown. Tommy Davis was a centerpiece to those great Dodger teams of the early 1960s. We can go on and on about the accolades of him as a player. But as a person, he was second to none.”

Mike Scioscia spent 13-years in a Dodgers uniform and 19 as manager of the L.A. Angels. The former Dodgers backstop recently spent time at Dodgers Minor League Spring Training. Scioscia admired the way Davis was gracious with his time and willingness to give back to the game of baseball.

Davis made his debut at the age of 20, and he left behind a legacy that immortalized him in Dodgers history. He is survived by his wife Carol, five children (Lauren, Carlyn, Leslie, Herman Thomas III and Morgana Davis) and 17 grandchildren.

Robinson helped steer Davis to Dodgers

That Davis began his professional career with the Dodgers is thanks in large part to Jackie Robinson.

Davis starred in baseball and basketball at Boys High School in New York and was set to sign with the Yankees in 1956. However, Robinson called Davis and encouraged him to sign with the Brooklyn. Dodgers scouting director Al Campanis knew Davis’ mother was a Brooklyn fan.

“My mother wondered who was calling,” Davis recalled during a 2019 interview. “I pointed to the receiver and mouthed the words, ‘IT’S JACKIE ROBINSON!’ I couldn’t believe I was speaking to one of my heroes, although I don’t remember doing much talking.”

Davis received a $4,000 signing bonus and made his MLB debut three years later, though only appeared in one game during the 1959 season.

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