A Giants lifer, Jim Davenport spent his 13 year career playing solid ball for the San Francisco Giants. The 1962 All-Star third baseman is currently with the Giants as a front office worker, and he used to be a manager for them; albeit an unsuccessful one. Davenport later went on to be a coach for the Philles and a scout for the Tigers.
Although he wasn’t a good hitter- career wRC-plus of 90- he did play some nice D over at the hot corner and was a Gold Glover in 1962. That was easily his best season, as he was on their World Series squad and earned his only All-Star appearance. Jim Davenport posted a 4.7 WAR on the strength of arguably his best season in the field and his best season as a hitter (119 wRC-plus). Davenport crossed the plate 83 times that season with a triple slash of .297/.357/.456. I know that runs scored is a bad measurement of skill, but I just put that out there for the traditionalists and the guys who like to know (although I doubt anybody cares at all).
The Alabama Sports Hall of Famer lost his job in 1964, when this guy named Jim Ray Hart emerged as the starter. Davenport still managed to milk out some playing time as a utility player who wasn’t set at a certain position and spelled other players of playing time. Although his defense was affected negatively from its previously high standard, Davenport still managed to be a quality player.
Consider, he had one of his best defensive seasons in 1967 playing mostly at third but also other areas around the diamond (shortstop and keystone). Jim Davenport’s WAR was 3.2 with a 112 wRC-plus with a .366 OBP. Yeah, that was his highest OBP of his career.
Unfortunately, Davenport had only two other 2 WAR (average starter) seasons. His first was as a rookie in 1958, in which he had a WAR of exactly 2. In 1961, his wRC-plus of 111 coupled with some solid defense led to a 3.5 WAR season.
While Jim Davenport wasn’t a spectacular player, most Giants fans who were born before the 70s know who he is. Davenport was a solid third baseman who played good defense, wasn’t that bad of a hitter as he got on base, and he also accumulated a good amount of sacrifice hits (led the league with 17 as a rookie). Davenport pretty much did what every minor league baseball player dreams of doing: he played with Hall of Famers such as Willie Mays, he made an All-Star team, he won a Gold Glove award, and he also played in a World Series.