First Base- Baltimore
Copywriter, B. Schumacher | Photographer, J. Fischer
A Breakout Season
After going through his share of ups and downs for his first four MLB seasons, Chris Davis led Baltimore with 33 home runs in 2012. Davis started the 2013 season by setting a Major League record with 16 RBIs in the first four games and became only the fourth player in history to hit a home run in each of the first four games of a season.
Davis’ dedication to his craft and his journey to big-league stardom have helped him develop a mindset that is focused on the work that goes into his success rather than the results themselves.
“Baseball is such a mental game,” said Davis. “It’s a game of failure. As long as you can look past the result and feel confident about your work and what you’re doing, that’s going to prove to last over time.”
Although it may have taken a few seasons to understand the work it takes to be a consistent hitter, it’s clear that the results are catching up with the work Davis has been putting in over the past few off-seasons. Following his hot start to the 2013 season, he continued his torrid play all year long. By the All-Star break, he had 37 home runs, which tied him for 2nd most all-time at that point in a season. He was also the leading vote getter for the All-Star team and was selected to participate in the Home Run Derby, where he made it to the second round.
Davis’ sensational performance continued after the break, and by the end of the season, he had hit 53 home runs, 138 RBIs, 96 extra-base hits, and had 370 total bases – all of which led Major League baseball. He joined Babe Ruth and Albert Belle as the only players in history with 50 home runs and 40 doubles in a season. All these numbers added up to winning the Silver Slugger Award for best offensive first baseman in the American League.
When asked about the cause for his sudden power surge, Davis gave props to the new addition to his training routine.
“I think it was the running,” said Davis. “My strength coaches formulated this running routine for me with sprinting and more explosive workouts. It got me into such good shape in my lower half, and in my swing, my lower half is huge for me. It’s where a lot of my power comes from, so that’s probably the biggest reason for the jump in production.”
As Davis prepares to win again this season, he’s focused on improving one key area of his game that will make him a complete, well-rounded player.
“Defense has always been a big part of my game, but it kind of fell off in 2012. I struggled a little bit, but that’s something that I’m going to continue to work on. I would love to win a gold glove.”
With defense on his mind, Davis’ Rawlings Heart of the Hide First Base Mitt will play a large part in his game in the upcoming season.
“You want something that’s comfortable on your hand without being too big or bulky. I want something that I can manipulate pretty well. I like a little bit heavier leather, so when it breaks in, it still keeps its form. I’ve changed models a few times over the last couple years and I’ve really found one that I like.”
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