On Baseball: The Time Rajai Davis Became a World Series Star, but Not Quite a Hero

Davis did not end last season as a World Series champion. His Cleveland Indians lost Game 7 to the Chicago Cubs, 8-7, in 10 innings. But his two-run, game-tying homer off Aroldis Chapman, a sizzler down the left-field line in the eighth inning, sent Cleveland into delirium and made the game a classic. With one unlikely swing — and his own tongue-wagging, gleeful trip home — Davis became an enduring example of baseball at its breathtaking best.

“When we brought him out for his physical and had lunch, we talked about it and he was just as excited as he probably was then,” said David Forst, the general manager of the Athletics, who signed Davis to a one-year, $6 million contract last month. “He’s always been unpretentious, not worried about the perception of him. You sort of saw that running around the bases.”

Davis, 36, has come through Oakland before, from 2008 through 2010, when he established himself as a dependable major leaguer. The A’s were his third team, after Pittsburgh and San Francisco, before Toronto and Detroit. He signed with Cleveland last season and hit .249 with 12 homers, a career high. His 43 steals…

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