Sunday, August 22, 2010

Giants Third Baseman Jim Davenport Baffled?

Jim Davenport could be the subject of a great science experiment.

I've wondered if star players would have the same quantity and quality of baseball memories that their part-time counterparts enjoy. Or, did the top-tier starters spend so much time defending their jobs that they didn't have time to savor each game?

My three questions for slick-fielding Giant Jim Davenport included:

1. What was it like playing in Seals Stadium, as compared to Candlestick Park?


2. What did winning the 1962 Gold Glove mean to you? When did you get the news of the award, and when did you receive the trophy?


3. Aug. 10, 1958 in L.A. Coliseum. You have two homers and five hits in a 12-8 win over the Dodgers. What do you remember about that slugfest? Best day ever as a hitter?


I think my letter shocked him. I included a second sheet of paper for his reply. He began with the customary autograph:

To Tom
Best Wishes
Jim Davenport

Then, he added the intrigue:


"Tom, I don't remember all the things you are talking about but thanks anyway.

Jim Davenport"

Never discount the experiences of any major leaguer. The least-seen player may have been the greatest observer.

2 comments:

  1. Sometimes we have to remember these players are getting older and while we fans might think
    "Oh he'll remember that shutout he pitched" or
    "He'll remember when he went 4 for 5" to them it might have been just another game, and the specifics and highlights are lost to time. I'm grateful and happy if players respond to my questions, but just as happy if I get "just" an autograph.

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  2. Well said, Tony! I've never meant to criticize such replies. It just helps keep our quiet lives as fans and collectors in perspective. What seems to us as a baseball milestone might be just one of many "days at the office" to these guys, something they never savored -- like we do! Most of all, heroes like Jim Davenport take the time to write back (and he included a minor league card of his). Far better than getting your request ignored and discarded!

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