Mariners Greatest Hits: “Mr. Mariner” Alvin Davis
The 1980’s were a rough time for the Mariners. In fact, they never had a record that was above .500 that decade. Thankfully, during these down years, M’s fans could rely on one man, Alvin Davis, to lift their spirits with his offensive prowess. In honor of our greatest M’s first baseman of all-time, here Davis’s top-three outings of his Mariners career.
As Riley Baker pointed out this morning, from the moment he began his career in Seattle until he finished it in 1991, Alvin Davis set the franchise bar on offense, ending his eight-year Mariners stint leading nearly a dozen statistical categories among first baseman in the organization.
From his Rookie of the Year season in 84′ until his final go around in Seattle in 91′, Davis sprinkled in moments of sheer excellence; moments that would help earn him the nickname, “Mr. Mariner”.
From Davis’s walk-off hits to his handful of grand slams, there is no shortage of games to choose from when deciding his top-three games of his M’s career.
Nevertheless, we hunkered down and selected three games that we believe to be the best of the best from the Mariners original star at first base.
These moments have been chosen based on clutch factor, how his performance impacted the outcome of the game and the overall brilliance that Davis showed Mariners fans on a fairly regular basis.
We hope you enjoy reliving these amazing moments created by the one and only, Alvin Davis.
April 18th, 1984
Early on in his rookie campaign, Davis proved that he was ready to fight for every win he could by putting up excellent numbers in his first month in the big leagues.
By the end of April of 1984, Davis was batting a scorching .369 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs. No game, though, showed the budding potential of the first baseman like this mid-April affair against the Mariners division rival, the Oakland Athletics.
From the onset, Davis was locked in. In his first at-bat in the home half of the first frame, Davis doubled sending the first Mariner across the plate to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.
In his third plate appearance, after a groundout in the 3rd, Davis was at it again, driving in two more runs on his second double that day. Those two runs put the M’s back on top after allowing the Athletics to come back and tie that game in the top half of the 5th.
After a rocky top of the 8th by the M’s Mike Stanton, the game was tied up once more, this time at four a piece. But Davis wasn’t done with his already great game just yet. He had one more hit stored in his bat, and it would prove to be the most important of them all.
With a runner on first and two men out, it looked certain that the game would head into extra innings; then Davis stepped in the batter’s box. He wold smack his third two-bagger of the game, finding enough room in the outfield to allow second baseman, Jack Perconte, to rush 270 feet all the way to home to win the ball game.
It was Davis’s first walk-off hit and his second multiple double game in as many nights. His three hits would be the most in one game in his MLB career until he would hit four in May of 1986, which happens to be when he also broke his record of four RBI’s set in this game, but we’ll get to that match.
This was arguably the defining moment that put the league on notice that Davis was ready to make a big impact in the majors. He was so good in 1984 that aside from winning Rookie of the Year, he would be selected as an all-star, and would even end up on the MVP ballot, finishing 12th in the final tally.
May 9th, 1986
As I hinted in the last slide, May of 1986 was a record-setting month for Davis, now in his third go-around in the league.
Davis started out that May with an eight-game hit streak, including that aforementioned four-hit duel less than a week before this May 9th game.
Reaching four hits and hitting 1.000 is a great accomplishment, but what he would do on this day made everyone forget about that past hitting clinic.
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The Toronto Blue Jays and Davis exchanged runs in the 1st and 2nd with Davis having the upper hand by the 3rd. He hit a three-run blast to put the Mariners ahead 3-1 in the 1st and then followed that up with an RBI single to make it 4-2 in the 2nd.
Davis would be silenced by Blue Jays pitching in the 5th, but his grandest hit of the day was still to come.
In the 7th, with the two American League teams in a tight 5-3 game, Davis stepped to the plate with the bases loaded with Mariners. He would blast the ball into the stands with one of his nine career grand slams, extending the Mariners lead to 9-5.
After a couple more runs crossed the plate for the M’s in the 7th, In the 8th Davis would score his third run of the game via a Gorman Thomas home run.
His two homers that day would amount to his first of only three multi-home run games in his career.
Even more impressive, his eight RBIs in a single game is still a Mariners franchise record. He held sole possession of that record until Mike Blowers drive in eight in May of 1995, and Mike Cameron did it in August of 2001.
It was a magnificent day for “Mr. Mariner”, but it wouldn’t be his last. As we would see in the 90’s, Davis would start the next decade off with plenty of stellar days at the plate as well.
September 28th, 1990
It was a new decade with the same reliable Davis at the plate. By this late season game, Davis was on track to reach at least 20 doubles, 15 home runs and 65 RBIs for the 6th straight year.
From the Mariners inaugural season in 1977 until 1996, no others M’s player would have as many seasons with those figures. It’s only appropriate that the Mariner to tie and then break the record of six seasons with these figures would be the M’s best player of the generation following Davis’s.
How did Davis get there? He had an amazing day that would include collecting his second most RBIs; it would help the M’s crush the Chicago Whitesox 13-4.
Davis would double in his first at-bat and would eventually be driven home by Jay Buhner to score the Mariners first run. He would be shut down in the 3rd but would bounce back in a big way in the later innings.
Davis would step to the plate in the top of the 5th with the bases loaded and he would deliver one more time.
It would be his 9th and final grand slam of his career, his 2nd in his last two weeks and this 3rd of the 1990 season. The blast would give the Mariners a comfortable lead of 7-2.
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In the 6th, Davis would bring in another run, this time without hitting the ball. He would draw a bases loaded walk.
Then in the next frame, he would bring in one more run, again, without adding a hit to his total. He would smack a sacrifice fly to deep left center allowing Harold Reynolds to score.
That would be his last plate appearance of the game, ending his 2-3, six RBI night in which he was able to drive in a run in his last three plate appearances.
We hope you enjoyed the countdown of Alvin Davis’s greatest games. As always, if you agree or disagree with our selection, feel free to let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter at SodoMojoFS.
On February 7th, we will be announcing who will be the Mariners greatest second baseman of all-time. Will it be someone from the Davis era? Or will it be someone much more familiar to the younger generation of Mariners fans? You’ll have to come back to find out.