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Be Like Ike (but not his dad)

I haven't done the research on Ike Davis and his walk-off resume, but I did come across a rather gruesome discovery.

I knew that Ike's dad, Ron Davis, despite registering 130 saves, had his share of struggles during his major league career. But I didn't realize just how deep (and you'll pardon the pun in a second) they ran.

Ron Davis gave up a walk-off RBI on 26 occasions in his walk-off career. That strikes me as significant. That's enough to create a sub-site, I'm thinking "Ron Davis Walk-Offs and Other Minutiae" won't get too many visitors. How amazin' is that?

You could create an All-Star lineup of players to get a walk-off RBI against him

Let's make that our first order of business.

1B- Eddie Murray
2B- Lou Whitaker
SS- Robin Yount
3B- Paul Molitor
LF- Jim Rice
CF- Fred Lynn
RF- Don Baylor
DH- Kirk Gibson
C- Clint Hurdle (ok...that's a stretch)
Bench- Don Mattingly, Frank White, Lloyd Moseby
Manager- Willie Randolph(!)
Coach- Tom Nieto

As it turns out Ron Davis had a specialty. His favorite method of blowing games was allowing walk-off home runs.

Most Walk-Off HR Allowed
All-Time

17 Roy Face
13 Rollie Fingers
12 Randy Myers
11 Lindy McDaniel
11 Jim Brewer
11 Rich Gossage
11 Ron Davis
11 Eddie Guardado
10 Claude Raymond
10 Willie Hernandez
10 Bruce Sutter
10 John Franco
10 Troy Percival

>> list provided by David Vincent

Ron Davis didn't just allow home runs, he allowed the worst kind.

Beat Ron Davis With Walk-Off HR
Trailing by 2+ runs at the time

Tom Paciorek
Kirk Gibson
Phil Bradley
Don Mattingly

The Phil Bradley home run was a doozy, what we in the business call an "ultimate grand slam." To allow an ultimate grand slam you have to be up by three runs with two outs in the ninth inning or later. The idea is that this is the "ultimate situation" on which the game is either won or lost. There have been 14 walk-off grand slams in major league history (most recently by Adam Dunn), so Davis was a part of something pretty enormous, even if he was on the wrong side.

Ron Davis would have fit in quite well with the Mets of June 5, 2008. On May 19, 1986, in a game against the Boston Red Sox, Davis was trying to close out a one-run lead for the Twins in the ninth inning. After retiring the first two hitters, he walked Marty Barrett and allowed Wade Boggs to put runners on second and third. Faced with a difficult situation, Davis walked Bill Buckner intentionally to load the bases. That didn't work, as he then walked Jim Rice, tying the game.

The next batter was Marc Sullivan, who hit .186 during a rather unillustrious big league career. Rather than torture Twins fans by extending the game to inevitable defeat in extra innings, Davis plunked Sullivan, giving the Red Sox a rather unlikely victory.

True Metikes know...Willie Randolph's walk-off hit against Davis was a double, scoring Ken Griffey with the winning run, against the Twins on July 20, 1984. First base coach Tom Nieto's walk-off hit was a home run, the last of the 11 walk-off longballs allowed by Davis, for the Expos against the Cubs in the 10th inning of a 5-4 victory.

Comments

Really just two changes turned the Twins from also-rans in 1986 to World Series champs in 1987. First was Dan Gladden leading off and playing left field.

Second was anyone other than Ron Davis "closing" games. :)

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