|Born: November 12, 1956|
|April 21, 1981, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 13, 1990, for the Atlanta Braves|
|Runs batted in||490|
|Career highlights and awards|
Jody Richard Davis (born 12 November 1956) is an American former professional baseball player and former minor league manager. He was a catcher in Major League Baseball with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves from 1981 to 1990.
Davis was selected by the New York Mets in the third round of the 1976 Major League Baseball Draft. In 1979, the Mets traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals and in 1980 he was drafted from the Cardinals by the Chicago Cubs in the Rule 5 draft.
Davis made his major league debut on 21 April 1981 at the age of 24, and became the Cubs starting catcher as a rookie. In the earlier years of his career, Davis showed promise on offense and became a fan favorite among Cubs fans. In his second full season, 1983, he set what would turn out to be career highs with 151 games played, a batting average of .271 and 24 home runs. Davis also had 84 RBI in the same season. In 1984, he set a career high with 94 RBI and earned his first All-Star selection, as the Cubs won the National League Eastern Division title, their first title of any kind since 1945. In the only post-season appearance of his career, Davis hit .389 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 6 RBI and an .833 slugging percentage in the 1984 National League Championship Series as the Cubs were defeated by the San Diego Padres in a five-game series.
Davis possessed a strong throwing arm and finished second among National League catchers in caught stealing percentage in 1981. In 1982, he finished second among National League catchers, behind Gold Glove winner Gary Carter, in Total Zone Runs, and he finished eighth among all National League players in Defensive Wins Above Replacement (Defensive WAR). However, Davis slumped defensively in 1983, leading the league in passed balls with 21 and finishing second in errors with 13. In 1984, with the help of bullpen coach and former catcher Johnny Oates, Davis began to regain his form as a defensive asset. In 1985, his 1.6 Defensive WAR once again placed him among the top 10 defensive players in the league. In 1986, Davis turned in a stellar defensive campaign. He led National League catchers in putouts, assists, and baserunners caught stealing, and he finished second to Bob Brenly in fielding percentage. His 21 Total Zone Runs and 3.3 Defensive WAR led not only National League catchers but indeed all National League players. When Davis broke the 100 assists barrier in 1986, he joined Johnny Bench, Jim Sundberg, Gary Carter and Tony Peña as the only catchers to have more than 100 assists in a season since the end of the Second World War. His defensive excellence helped earn him his second All-Star Game appearance and garnered the Gold Glove Award.
Around the same time, his offense started slipping. In 1986, Davis hit 21 home runs but struck out 110 times. His batting average slipped to .229 in 1988 and, he was replaced by rookie catcher Damon Berryhill, before being traded with three games left of the season to his hometown Atlanta Braves. Davis played only two games with the Braves that year, but he stayed in Atlanta for one full season and one partial season. With the Braves, he was also seeing occasional action as a first baseman. In 1989, Davis batted .169 with Atlanta in 78 games. In 1990, he played in 12 games, going 2-for-28 for a batting average of .071. Davis was granted a release by the Braves, after which time he signed a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers organization (AAA Toledo Mud Hens). He played only 3 games for the Mud Hens before deciding to retire at the age of 33.
In a ten-year Major League Baseball career, Davis played in 1,082 games, accumulating 877 hits in 3,585 at bats for a .245 career batting average along with 127 home runs and 490 runs batted in. He ended his career with a .987 fielding percentage as a catcher. On 15 April 1987, Davis hit the 4,000th home run in the history of Wrigley Field.
Davis managed the Calgary Outlaws of the Canadian Baseball League to a 24-13 record during the league's only season (2003). Since the league suspended operations at its All-Star break, the Outlaws were awarded the Jenkins Cup. Following his time in Canada, Davis was a minor league manager and roving catching instructor in the Chicago Cubs system, serving as manager of the Daytona Cubs of the Florida State League in 2007 and 2008. During the 2010 baseball season, he managed the Boise Hawks. The Hawks are a minor league Class 'A' affiliate of the Cubs and compete in the short-season Northwest League. Davis' pitching coach was former major league starter Jeff Fassero. During the following off-season, he managed in the Venezuelan Winter League. In 2018, Davis became the manager of the Cincinnati Reds' Double-A affiliate, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. In 2019, was named manager of their Triple-A ball club, the Louisville Bats.
Davis has been married twice and has three children from his first marriage. He is the second-cousin of Major League Baseball player Wade Davis. He attended North Hall High School.