RIP Tommy Davis … Not to be confused with Willie

Sad to hear that Tommy Davis died.

Davis, 83, passed away Sunday. He was a star of the 1960s and 1970s. Not a hall-of-famer, only a three-time All-Star, but wont back-to-back batting titles in 1962 and 1963, and led the Senior Circuit in RBI in 1962. The Dodgers also won the 1963 World Series.

Tommy Davis spent his first few years, perhaps his best, with the Dodgers before being a traveling nomad of sorts throughout baseball until retirement in 1976. Rest in peace.

He is not to be confused with Willie Davis, who shared the outfield with Tommy for the latter’s years in Los Angeles. Like Tommy, Willie also bounced around from team to team – but he, both in American and Japan – during the 1970s.

Tommy perhaps had more personal accolades had the better stats: Along with being a three-time league leader in major offensive categories to Willie’s zero, Tommy finished with a .294 career average to Willie’s .279. Willie had more home runs (182-153), and – in quite a coincidence – wound up having only ONE more career RBI than Tommy (1,053-1,052).

I learned about both Tommy and Willie through reading a large 5,000-page baseball almanac from start to finish when I was maybe 13 or 14. When my collecting focus turned more toward late vintage-era cards, the Davis duo became an interest for my personal collection.

I’ve explained several times in my recent baseball card posts about the “career team arc” mission of mine: One card of each player for every team they played on, as long as they had a card printed while a member of a team.

Both Tommy and Willie are examples that I use often to explain this concept:

Tommy Davis teams:

Dodgers – No card in my collection. Seeking any, but preferably either the 1966 Topps or 1965 Topps Embossed

Mets – No card in my collection. Seeking the 1967 Topps.

White Sox – I have his 1968 Topps.

Pilots – I have his 1969 Topps, which is the very first Seattle Pilots card I ever bought.

Astros – No card in my collection. Seeking the 1970 Topps.

Cubs – I have his 1971 Topps.

Athletics – I have his 1972 Topps.

Orioles – I have his 1976 Topps.

Angels – There is no Tommy Davis card of him as an Angel.

Royals – No card in my collection. Seeking the 1977 Topps.

Mariners – He coached for the M’s during he 1981 season and was featured on a 1982 Donruss card, which I have.

Willie Davis cards:

Dodgers – I have both his 1965 and 1969 Topps.

Expos – I have his 1975 Topps, and used to have his 1974 Topps Traded.

Rangers – There is no Willie Davis card of him as an Ranger.

Padres – I have his 1976 Topps.

Cardinals – The only set that features Willie Davis as a Cardinal is from the 1976 SSPC set, and that card is on my Top 100 Want List.

In Japan – It is believed that there are no cards from Willie Davis’ days in Japan (Chunichi Dragons, Crown Lighter Lions).

Angels – There is no Willie Davis card of him as an Angel.

Not sure why I overlooked Tommy in putting together my Want List.

BTW – The next edition of the Top 100 will be planned for a couple of weeks from now, including a NEW No. 1!!!! Stay tuned!


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