Jody Davis

Jody DavisJody Davis

Birthday: November 12

Chicago Cubs (1981-1988)

Managed Cubs Minor League teams (Peoria, Daytona and Boise) for 4 years (2006-2008, 2010)

2-time All-Star (1984, 1986)

Gold Glove Award Winner (C) in 1986

Jody DavisJody Davis

September 14, 1984
Jody Davis hits a grand slam and Rick Sutcliffe gets his 13th consecutive victory  as the Cubs defeat the Mets 7-1.

Cubs History-September 14

December 8, 1980

Cubs select Jody Davis from the Cardinals in the Rule 5 draft.

September 29, 1988

Cubs trade Jody Davis to the Atlanta Braves for Kevin Blackenship & Kevin Coffman

Yesterday's Cubs-Today's Metrics

When you review Jody Davis WAR over his career with the Cubs a few things jump out at you.  One, he was very consistent. if you exclude his first and last seasons with the Cubs, Davis WAR was at it's lowest at 1.9 (1987) and his best season for WAR was 1986 with a 4.2 WAR (best among all MLB catchers in 1986).  Two, reviewing the offensive and defensive WAR figures, his defense was outstanding and helped drive a higher WAR each year with the Cubs.

How does Jody Davis compare?

The Catchers of his time :

Total WAR figures from 1981 to 1988 for all MLB catchers (Jody Davis full career with the Cubs)

  • 1) Gary Carter 39.1
  • 2) Lance Parrish 25.1
  • 3) Tony Pena 21.9
  • 4) Carlton Fisk 19.7
  • 5) Mike Scioscia 19.2
  • 6) Terry Kennedy 19.0
  • 7) Ernie Whitt 18.7
  • 8) Jody Davis 18.5
  • 9) Rich Gedman 14.2
  • 10) Darrell Porter 14.2

As much as I knew Jody Davis was a very good catcher compared to the league, even I was surprised that Davis was certainly comparable to a Hall of Fame catcher like Carlton Fisk (19.7 to 18.5 is a very small gap for 8 full seasons).  As you can see, Gary Carter was well above everyone else with Lance Parrish & Tony Pena being in sort of a 2nd tier.  After these 3, the 5 catchers from 4 to 8 that include Jody Davis are really very comparable to one another with just 1.2 WAR over 8 seasons separating all 5 MLB catchers.

All-Time Cubs Catchers:

Jody Davis ranks 4th all-time in total WAR as a Cubs catcher.  Here is a list of the Cubs catchers above Davis and other Cubs catchers in recent years and how they compare to Jody Davis.

  • 1) Gabby Hartnett 52.7
  • 2) King Kelly 24.5
  • 3) Johnny Kling 20.0
  • 4) Jody Davis 18.5
  • 5) Randy Hundley 12.8
  • 7) Rick Wilkens 11.5
  • 9) Willson Contreras 8.1
  • 10) Michael Barrett 7.8
  • 12) Wellington Castillo 6.8

Essentially, what this list tells you is that Jody Davis really is the best Cubs catcher in the modern era.  Gabby Hartnett is a Hall of Fame catcher and certainly had a much better career but back it was back in the 1920's and 1930's.  King Kelly & Johnny Kling go back even further.  For those of you wondering why Willson Contreras is so low (#9), WAR is a cumulative statistic that should go higher over time so he needs to play a few more years before being expected to compare to Jody Davis, he certainly appears to be on his way to comparing well with this great Cubs catcher.  

Jody Davis WAR by season with all-time Cubs rank (Catcher):

  • 1986 Jody Davis 4.2 9th best all-time for Cubs catcher
  • 1982 Jody Davis 3.0 27th best all-time for Cubs catcher
  • 1983 Jody Davis 2.6 34th best all-time for Cubs catcher
  • 1984 Jody Davis 2.6 34th best all-time for Cubs catcher
  • 1985 Jody Davis 2.4 41st best all-time for Cubs catcher
  • 1987 Jody Davis 1.9 60th best all-time for Cubs catcher
  • 1981 Jody Davis 1.2 86th best all-time for Cubs catcher

FYI, all of these rankings are tied with other catchers at the WAR figure with the exception of 1986 (the only catcher with a 4.2 WAR since 1870).  Again, Jody Davis consistency shows up in how he ranks in the top 100 of all time Cubs catcher even in his first season with the team when he played just 56 games.

What is Jody Davis doing now?

Cubs fans may remember that Jody Davis did manage for 3 years in the minor leagues with the Cubs, but he has moved on from the team now.  He has moved around a little bit, serving as hitting coach in the Padres organization and in 2017 he was the hitting coach for the Reds AAA affliate, Louisville Bats.  it would be great to see Jody Davis get a chance to manage a major league team one day.

This Day in Chicago Cubs History-Jody Davis


May 9, 1982  

Cubs and Astros are tied 3-3 into the 9th inning at Wrigley Field.  Leon Durham doubles and for some reason, the Astros and Randy Moffett walk Bob Molinaro intentionally to face Jody Davis instead.  Jody Davis hits a walk-off 3-run home run to win the game 6-3.  Davis goes 2 for 4 with 4 RBI on the day.  

June 16, 1982

Cubs blow a 6-2 lead when Phillies score 4 runs in 9th inning, but they win

the game in 11 innings on Ryne Sandberg's walk-off, RBI single scoring Jody Davis. 

August 14, 1982

At Shae Stadium in New York, the Cubs defeat the Mets 7-4.  Jody Davis drives in 4 runs with 2 singles and a sacrifice fly.  

September 21, 1982

Fergie Jenkins pitches CG shutout and Jody Davis drives in only Cubs run as 

Cubs defeat Pirates 1-0.  


June 10, 1983

At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Cardinals 7-0.  Jody Davis homers and drives in 4 runs and Fergie Jenkins pitches a 4-hit, complete game shutout.  

June 12, 1983

Cubs defeat Cardinals 6- 3 behind Jody Davis GS & Keith Moreland's 2-run HR. Ryne Sandberg ties MLB record with 12 assists

June 26, 1983

At Olympic Stadium in Montreal, the Cubs defeat the Expos 9-5.  Jody Davis drives in 6 runs with a grand slam and 2-run single. 

August 18, 1983

At Wrigley Field, Fergie Jenkins & Lee Smith shutout the Braves 3-0

as Jody Davis drives in all 3 runs with a 3-run home run.


May 5, 1984

Jody Davis & Leon Durham homer and Ron Cey gets the walk-off hit, a bases loaded RBI single as Cubs defeat the Pades 6-5 at Wrigley Field.

June 12, 1984

the Cubs defeat the Expos 11-4 at Wrigley Field.  Jody Davis goes 3 for with a double, a home run and 4 RBI.  

June 27, 1984

Cubs defeat the Pirates 8-7 in 11 innings at Wrigley Field on Jody Davis

walk-off RBI walk. 

August 1, 1984

Jody Davis 9th inning walk-off SF gives Cubs a 5-4 victory over the Phillies

at Wrigley Field.  

August 6, 1984

At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Mets 9-3.  Jody Davis homers and drive in 4 runs. 

August 21, 1984

At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Astros 11-5.  Jody Davis homers and drives in 4 runs.  

September 14, 1984

Jody Davis hits a grand slam and Rick Sutcliffe gets his 13th consecutive victory for the Cubs as the Cubs defeat the Mets 7-1.

October 5, 1984

A very tough loss for the Cubs in Game 4 of the NLCS. The lead went back and forth throughout the game.  Jody Davis had a big day with 3 hits and 3 RBI and a home run.  Leon Durham homered as well.  But with the score tied in the ninth inning, Lee Smith faced Steve Garvey who sent the game to a Game 5 with a dramatic walk-off home run.

October 7, 1984

Game 5 of the NLCS began so well, Leon Durham hit a 2-run home run in the first inning. Jody Davis homered in the 3rd inning to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.  The Padres scored 2 runs in the 6th inning to cut the lead to 3-2 and it was the 7th inning that is so well remembered.  Tim Flannery’s ground ball that went through Leon Durham’s legs tied the game and the Padres went on to score 4 runs in the inning to take a 6-3 lead and go to the 1984 World Series against the Tigers.


June 6, 1985

Cubs and Pirates go into extra innings at Wrigley Field tied 2-2.  Ray Fontenot & Warren Brewster pitch 4 scoreless innings and Leon Durham's RBI double drives in Jody Davis for the walk-off Cubs 3-2 victory in 12 innings. 

June 7, 1985

Rick Sutcliffe pitches a CG shutout to defeat Pirates 1-0 at Wrigley Field.  Jody Davis drives in the only run with HR.

June 14, 1985

Jody Davis drives in 5 runs with 2 doubles, but Cubs lose to Cardinals 11-10 at Wrigley Field.


April 27, 1986

Cubs defeat Expos 12-10.  Jody Davis goes 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored, 2 home runs and 5 RBI.  His 8th inning solo home run off Jeff Reardon begins a 5-run Cubs rally that helps them win the game.  Wrigley Field.  His 4th inning grand slam gives the Cubs an early 4-1 lead.  

May 21, 1986

Trailing 5-3 into the 9th inning with 2 outs, Jody Davis hits a game tying 3-run home run off Bruce Sutter of the Braves at Fulton County Stadium, but the game goes 13 innings and the Braves win it on a bases loaded walk by George Frazier to Andres Thomas.  Braves defeat Cubs 9-8 in 13 innings.  

July 1, 1986

Jody Davis drives in the only Cubs run as Cubs defeat Expos 1-0. Scott Sanderson,  Dave Gumpert & Lee Smith combine on a 5-hit shutout.

September 29, 1986

At Veteran's Stadium in Philadelphia, the Cubs defeat the Phillies 8-3.  Jody Davis goes 4 for 5 with a home run and 5 RBI.


April 17, 1987

Jody Davis goes 4 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI's as Cubs defeat the Expos 7-0 at Wrigley Field.  Rick Sutcliffe pitches a 4-hit complete game shutout and drives in 3 runs. 

June 3, 1987 

Cubs & Astros combine for 3 Grand Slams. Keith Moreland hits 2 HR & 7 RBI. Jody Davis scores 5 runs Cubs defeat Astros 22-7.

August 16, 1987

Trailing 7-0, Jody Davis hits a grand slam in the 4th inning, but the Mets continue to score and defeat the Cubs 23-10 at Wrigley Field.  Darryl Strawberry of the Mets hits for the cycle and drives in 5 runs.


April 5, 1988

In a wild season opener in Atlanta, the Cubs defeat the Braves 10-9, the teams combined for 7 home runs in the game, Jody Davis, Leon Durham and Shawon Dunston homered for the Cubs. The Cubs came from behind to score 2 runs in the ninth inning and won the game in the 13th inning on a sacrifice fly by Manny Trillo

April 10, 1988

At Olympic Stadium in Montreal, the Cubs defeat the Expos 10-7 in 10 innings.  Jody Davis drives in 4 runs with a single and a double.