A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 107 George Davis (Number 12 Shortstop)

The first time I heard about George Davis was in Bill James hall of fame book “The Politics of Glory” published in 1994. Davis was elected in 1998. I’m guessing Bill’s writeup had something to do with it. Bill compared Davis with Joe Tinker. I have Tinker as the 37th greatest shortstop. Tinker was a better fielder, but Davis was a great fielder himself and did everything else better.

Davis was one of those guys who did everything well on the field. Davis was never the best hitter, but he was always a an above average hitter and he had a long career. These guys do well in these rating systems.

Davis missed pretty much the whole 1903 season. In fact, it appears he was an illegal player when he played 4 games for the Giants. Davis signed a contract with the Giants when the two leagues were at war. Unfortunately, for Davis (and the Giants) an agreement was reached, and the National League told to send Davis back to the Chicago White Sox the team he belonged to the year before. The Giants owner John T. Brush fought the issue in court and at one time was “allowed to play” Davis from the court. The issue went back and forth, but baseball was adamant. By this time Davis was going home. He ended up going back to the White Sox. He played for them for 5 years and helped them win the World Series in 1906. When remembered he was an easy hall of famer.

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Author: Douglas Byzewski

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