Tommy Davis, Legendary Dodgers Player, Dead at 83

Tommy Davis, a former baseball player who spent the majority of his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, died on Sunday night in Pheonix, the Dodgers announced. He was 83 years old. Davis' daughter Morgana informed the Dodgers of her father's death. The cause of death was not revealed. 

"The Dodgers are saddened to hear about the passing of two-time NL batting champion Tommy Davis, the team said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with his friends and family." Davis began his MLB career in 1959. In 1956, Davis was set to sign with the New York Yankees, but Dodgers legend Jackie Robinson called him, which led to him changing his mind. 

"My mother wondered who was calling," Davis said in 2019, per ESPN. "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 was one of the top players in 1962 and 1963 as he won back-to-back batting titles. He hit .346 in 1962 and .326 in 1963 and was the first batting champion in the history of the Los Angeles franchise. Along with winning multiple batting titles, Davis was selected to the All-Star team three times and helped the team win the World Series in 1963. 

After the 1966 season, Davis bounced around the league, playing for the New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics twice, Chicago Cubs twice, Baltimore Orioles, California Angels, Kansas City Royals and Seattle Pilots. He finished his MLB career with a .294 batting average with 153 home runs and 1,052 RBIs. 

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"He's, like, my hero — that's why I wear No. 12, because of Tommy Davis," Dusty Baker, Houston Astros' manager, told reporters after Monday's exhibition finale against the New York Mets in West Palm Beach, Fla, per the Los Angeles Times. "He was a heck of a player, heck of a hitter. He helped me out as a player when he was on the Orioles. I remember he used to always tell me, 'You've got to sit to hit.' Sometimes when you meet your hero, you're disappointed, but not with him. He was even a greater guy as a hero than he was as a player."