This Day In Dodgers History: Tommy Davis Traded To Mets

On November 29, 1966, the Los Angeles Dodgers traded two-time batting champion Tommy Davis and Derrell Griffith to the New York Mets in exchange for Jim Hickman and Ron Hunt.

Davis, a Brooklyn native, made his MLB debut with the Dodgers in 1959 but played in just one game that season. The following year he took on a more prominent role and finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year voting.

Davis spent eight seasons with the Dodgers from 1959-1966, which included back-to-back All-Star Game selections in 1962 and 1963 that coincided with winning consecutive batting titles. However, he was limited to just 17 games in 1965 due to a broken ankle suffered in May.

In 1962, he hit .346/.374/.535 with 27 doubles, 27 home runs and 153 RBI. That season, Davis led the Majors in batting average, homers, RBI and with 230 total hits while appearing in 163 games. Davis holds the all-time Dodgers franchise record for most RBI in a single season, and his 230 hits are a Los Angeles record.

Babe Herman had 241 hits for Brooklyn in 1931.

In 1963, Davis batted .326/.359/.457 with 19 doubles, 16 home runs and 88 RBI, and again had the highest batting average in baseball.

Despite coming off a season in which he was limited due to the ankle injury, Davis continued his hitting prowess with the Mets during 1967 and led the team in most offensive categories.

As for Griffith, he’d only appeared in 124 games over parts of four seasons with the Dodgers at the time of the trade. Griffith did not play in the Majors after 1966.

Meanwhile, Hickman was the Mets’ all-time home run leader upon getting traded, but he struggled in his lone season with the Dodgers.

Hickman went on to play with the Chicago Cubs from 1968-1973 before finishing his career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1974.

Hunt also was only with the Dodgers for the 1967 season, during which time he was more productive than Hickman by batting .263/.344/.345 with 17 doubles and 33 RBI.

Jackie Robinson helped Dodgers sign Tommy Davis

Davis beginning his career with the Dodgers was thanks in large part to franchise icon 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 Dodgers instead.

Then-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 from Brooklyn and made his MLB debut three years later.

Davis passed away in April 2022 at the age of 83.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!