Davis had some pretty insane stats early in his career. My favorite being his 27 home runs and 80 stolen bases in 1986. The next year in 1987 he hit 37 home runs and had 50 steals. I loved the run the Reds made through the playoffs in 1990 too. Not a huge Barry Bonds/Pirates fan, not a huge A's fan at that point either.
The Nasty Boys were the lesser of several evils. Plus, they were diluted by actual likable players on the Reds like Eric Davis, Chris Sabo and his goggles, Barry Larkin, and Paul O'Neill.
I had Eric Davis rookie cards. His 1985 Fleer was my favorite.
In my opinions, this photo is much better than the one on his Topps rookie card. The red border around the card helps too. Very clean design, nice card.
A rundown of the baseball happenings of Eric Davis between 1991 and 1998 with some pictures and a video....
He was injured much of the 1991 season and was eventually traded to the Dodgers. Plenty of people were excited that he got traded to his hometown Dodgers, but he did little with the team who traded him again to the Tigers. After hitting .183 with the Tigers in 1994, Davis missed the entire 1995 season. He returned to the Reds in 1996 and things started to look up again after he stayed healthy for a full season and hit like the Eric Davis from the 1980s.
Davis left the Reds after 1996 for the Orioles. His 1997 season started out well, but he was diagnosed with colon cancer in May of that season. He only appeared in 42 games, but returned for the playoffs and helped the Orioles get to the American League Championship Series against Cleveland.
Major League Baseball presented him with the 1997 Roberto Clemente Award before Game 4 of the 1997 World Series. It was 35 degrees when this game started, so there is no picture of Davis with the Roberto Clemente Award on the field.....
but I assure you he has it somewhere in his house......
right next to the Gold Gloves.
In 1998, Davis hit .327/.388/.582 with 28 home runs and 89 RBIs.
A remarkable comeback.
The Cardinals bought in, but there was not much left in the tank. I am not going to use the word "bust" on a guy who had colon cancer, beat it, and returned to play professional sports. He still showed up in games, played hard, but he just was not the same guy who was an All-Star caliber player for the Reds and Orioles.
The Cardinals had actually signed both Eric Davis and Shawon Dunston to help out with some of the younger players on the team during the 1999 season. The team had J.D. Drew, Fernando Tatis, Placido Polanco, and Edgar Renteria. Good talent, but at that time all of those players were under 25.
At the end of the 1999 season, Davis had a .257/.359/.403 slash line with 5 home runs, 9 doubles, and 30 RBIs. He managed to play in just 58 games. The next season, in 2000, was much better for him. Davis was still a bench player at that point, but he did help the team win the National League Central hitting .303/.389/.429 with 6 home runs and 14 doubles off the bench.
Davis does have a few Cardinals baseball cards. The first few were of the mismatched logo variety, not really a good look. This Pacific Aurora is terrible......
I used to always say that I would rather have a card with mismatched logos, uniform of one team with card logos of another team, but this is a really unattractive looking card. I understand that the Pacific Aurora set was a one time thing, no second series, so if they wanted to include Eric Davis in the set this was what they had to do. I guess they could have airbrushed.....
The back is slightly better since the photo is black and white and it does not have an odd background color like the front of the card. Never really liked the stat lines on some of these late 1990s/early 2000s Pacific baseball cards.
Pacific eventually got it right later on in the summer.
Much better picture on the Paramount card. Aurora was a spring release, Paramount was a summer release. This photo is from Spring Training. The Cardinals in the late 1990s wore blue helmets on the road, note the grey pants, but during the spring the team wore red helmets. The Cardinals also have never worn red jerseys in regular season games. Ever. Clearly a batting practice jersey.
The Spring Training photos are a common theme with the Eric Davis Cardinals cards.
Leaning towards this being a Spring Training picture too on his 1999 Bowman card. I actually have another post coming up on this card at some point in the next week or two. Always surprised when I run across an Eric Davis card in a Cardinals uniform, even more surprising when it is in a newer product.
Now, for my two favorite Eric Davis card in a Cardinals uniform.
First up is a Fleer Premium from 1999. I am not sure what is going on with the red and yellow hazy stuff that is lingering around Davis, but I like the rest of the card. Good photo of Davis stretching out before a Spring Training game. The background is blurry, but you can still clearly tell that it's a Dodgers players, maybe a ballboy.
I was curious about his shoes since they have an 11 on them next to the Nike swoosh. There were no Cardinals with the uniform number 11 in 1999, but there were three different members of the quad with that number from the previous year. Fernando Tatis and Luis Ordaz wore the number later in the year, but Royce Clayton started the year with that number.
Royce, your shoes.....
I'm guess that maybe Royce Clayton abandoned them when he was traded to the Rangers in the middle of the 1998 season. Maybe there is some other story here too, I don't know, just speculating.
This is a really cool card of Davis signing autographs in a sea of kids. It's always nice to see a card of players interacting with fans. No creepy adults shoving any of the kids out of the way. Quality picture. I really miss Upper Deck.
Davis would end his career with the Giants in 2001. He does some work with the Reds still and recently appeared in a video opening a pack of baseball cards. Makes fun of Geronimo Pena and Joey Votto gets in the video at the end.