Happy Reds birthday, Eric Davis!
May 29, 1962
The rumor in Cincinnati in 1987 was that the Hall of Fame had already cast Eric Davis’ plaque. Davis intimidated pitchers both at the plate and on the basepaths. In 1986, he hit 27 homers while stealing 80 bases; in 1987 he fell three home runs shy of becoming the first 40/40 player in history. Injuries limited his playing time, and fickle Cincinnati fans turned on their brightest star. After the 1991 season, the Reds sent Davis to Los Angeles with Kip Gross for Tim Leary and John Wetteland. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and Reds fans soon realized what they had lost. He returned to Cincinnati for one season in 1996 as a free agent, and continued playing through 2001. Eric the Red is now a “Special Assistant, Player Performance” for the Cincinnati franchise, and a very popular guest at fan functions such as Redsfest.