Glancing Back, and Remembering Jim Davenport
Jim Davenport spent his entire 13-season major league career with a single team: the San Francisco Giants. He played every position except the battery at the major league level, though he played roughly 90 percent of his more than 1400 games at third base, where his dependable play and timely hitting made him a Candlestick Park fixture during the 1960s.
Davenport was signed by the Giants in 1955. He made his major league debut when the Giants arrived in San Francisco in 1958. He batted .256 in his rookie season, with 12 home runs and 61 RBIs.
In 1961, Davenport batted .278 with career highs in doubles (28) and runs batted in (65). During the Giants’ National League pennant season of 1962, Davenport batted .297 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs. He also appeared in the All-Star game that season and won the Gold Glove.
Between 1958 and 1963, Davenport hit .266 and averaged nine home runs and 46 RBIs per season. His on-base percentage during that period was .321, with a high of .357 in 1962. His career-best OBP was .366 in 1967.
In 1964, Jim Ray Hart and his potent bat took over everyday third base duties for the Giants. But it says something about Davenport’s value that the Giants kept him even in a diminished role, and he contributed to the team for six more seasons as a utility player.
Davenport retired at age 36 in 1970 after collecting 1,142 hits and posting a career batting average of .258 (with a .318 career OBP). He scored 552 runs during his career, and drove in 456.