Sep 4, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (19) hits a home run against Toronto Blue Jays in the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
It’s a good thing for a professional baseball player to have his name on all-time, career lists in the history of the sport, right? Well, yes, most of the time. There are lists that would be negative stats, like strikeouts. Who is #1 is that category? Some guy named Reggie Jackson with 2,597. Man, he must have stunk! Actually, three of the top four all-time strikeout leaders played for the Baltimore Orioles for a short time — Jackson, Jim Thome and Sammy Sosa.
Chris Davis finds himself on some all-time lists, and they are of both sorts of categories — particularly home runs and strikeouts. And we are talking about in single seasons and career. For example, his 53 homers in 2013 places him alone as the 26th best ever in a year. The name Babe Ruth is just above him — twice hitting 54 in a season.
Davis’ 208 strikeouts in a single season this year ranks him as fifth all-time. For a while early in 2015, he was on pace to break the all-time record of former teammate Mark Reynolds at 223. Davis’ 199 K’s in 2013 ranked him as eighth on the list. Reynolds is seen four times in the top 14.
Clearly the game has changed over the decades. Topping the all-time list for striking out was Bobby Bonds (the father of Barry Bonds) who led for a long time when fanning 189 times in 1970. That single season record would stand until 2004 when Adam Dunn whiffed 195 times. And the first to break 200 was Mark Reynolds in 2008.
At age 29, Davis is climbing up the all-time, career strikeouts list. He currently totals 1,090, which places him at #227. He only needs three more seasons like 2015 to break into the top 30 in the history of MLB.
But, those who are on top of the strikeouts lists are able to be there because of the positive benefits that they bring to a team over a long period of time.
In the history of the game, Chris Davis is now ranked #312 in total career home runs with 203. This ties him with former Pirates corner infielder Richie Hebner — a player I well remember watching when growing up.
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It will be interesting to see how far Chris Davis can climb these and other offensive lists before eventually retiring, but it would be more fun to see it done with the Baltimore Orioles than somewhere else!