Next up in our "Random Retro Baseball Player" series, we take a look back at "Mr. Mariner", Alvin Davis...
Years Played: 1984-1992.
Teams Played For: Seattle Mariners(84-91), California Angels(92).
Position: First Base.
Career Line: .280 AVG, 568 R, 1189 H, 160 HR, 683 RBI, 7 SB, .380 OBP, .450 SLG, .830 OPS.
Best Season: There's three seasons that you could have arguments for being his best season. Feel free to comment on which one you would consider his best...
1984- .284 AVG, 80 R, 161 H, 27 HR, 116 RBI, 5 SB, 97 BB, 78 K, .391 OBP, .497 SLG, .888 OPS.
1987- .295 AVG, 86 R, 171 H, 29 HR, 100 RBI, 0 SB, 72 BB, 84 K, .370 OBP, .516 SLG, .886 OPS
1989- .305 AVG, 84 R, 152 H, 21 HR, 95 RBI, 0 SB, 101 BB, 49 K, .424 OBP, .496 SLG, .920 OPS
Awards/Leaderboard: 1984 AL Rookie Of The Year.
1984 AL All-Star.
Led AL In Offensive Win % In 1989(.751).
2nd In AL OPS In 1989(.920).
Top 10 In AL For Walks 5 Times(1984-97, 1985-90, 1988-95, 1989-101, 1990-85).
Fun Facts: Nicknamed "Mr. Mariner", as he spent eight of his nine seasons in Seattle, and held many of the offensive records for the franchise at the time. He was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame in 1997.
He made an instant impact in the majors, reaching base in his first 47 games. He'd appear in his only All-Star Game that summer, went on to win the AL Rookie of the Year award. That was the first significant award won by a Mariners player, and the only one for the first 12 years of the franchise.
In 1992, Alvin signed with the California Angels, but struggled, not hitting a home run in 118 plate appearances. The Angels released that June, and he went to play for Kintesu Buffaloes in Japan with hopes of rediscovering his powerful swing. He continued to struggle and decided to retire.
He's still involved with baseball, coaching MLK High School in Riverside, California.
My Take: I had a ton of Alvin's baseball cards as a kid, and I smiled when I came across his name for the first time in years playing around on Baseball-Reference. While he was the most popular Mariner at the time and their most identifiable player until the Ken Griffey Jr./Jay Buhner/Edgar Martinez/Randy Johnson/Alex Rodriguez days, I don't think he was appreciated quite as much in his era as he would be in this one.
With the sabermetrics craze, Alvin would be a very popular player these days. As I showed, he was among the league leaders in walks annually. His career on-base percentage was 100 points higher than his career batting average, something that was rare in those days and went unnoticed by most following the game. Now of course people consider on-base percentage and slugging percentage to be two very important statistics when measuring the value of a player, and Alvin was terrific in both of those areas.
Alvin Davis' Baseball-Reference Page
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