Left fielder John Davis, an All-Star in eight of his nine seasons with the Comets between 2029-37, returned to Kingston with the ‘September’ call-up crew. After signing with Windsor in 2038, Davis spent time at Triple-A Leamington, putting up decent numbers but never getting any playing time in the majors.
Wanting to find out if the fan favorite and team leader had anything left in the tank, the Comets signed Davis to a minor league deal and he didn’t impress, batting just .200 with an OPS of .668 at Triple-A London. Kingston management wanted to bring Davis up to the big club sooner than mid-August when the rosters opened up, but the Comets found themselves atop the Canadian League at the All-Star Break, so his last hurrah with Kingston would have to wait. In Saturday night’s game, he had it, in major-league fashion, in front of an adoring throng.
As Davis trotted out to left field in the top of the first, nearly 40,000 fans honored him with a standing ovation that did not fully subside for a solid minute. Davis tipped his cap in every direction. “I hadn’t been that nervous since my first game in Kingston back in ’28,” he said after the game.
With the Comets flailing away, barely maintaining a once-sizable lead over Thunder Bay and Toronto, the squad came into its final game of a three-game set with Hamilton, having dropped 11 of its last 13. Davis, hitting in the familiar number two hole, grounded a one-out, 2-2 offering from Mounties starter Florian Jacques for a single up the middle in his first at bat. In the third, with one out and one on, Davis lined a single down the left field line and then scored on Sterling Morin’s three-run jack that put the Comets up for good at 4-0. In the bottom of the fifth, Davis led off with the Comets up 4-2. Davis had fouled off a few pitches before Jacques hung a 3-2 curve ball that Davis timed perfectly, launching it more than 400 feet, well over the wall in left-center.
Another standing O followed, and Davis had to make a couple of curtain calls. He popped up on a check swing in the sixth but then stroked a clean single to left in the eighth to cap his first four-hit game in a loooooong time. Kingston continues to cling to a half-game lead over Thunder Bay and Toronto is close behind. Davis, however, is still on top of the world.
Editors Note: John Davis is an eight-time All-Star, one-time Playoff MVP, four-time Player of the Week, and three-time Gold Glover.
For you collectors here is his first baseball card, from Triple-A London.