By Ben Leonard
Somewhere, Jim Davenport is smiling.
Fittingly, on the day the Giants’ former standout player, scout, and coach was honored after passing away this offseason, the Giants fittingly rode homegrown talent to a 12-6 comeback win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Davenport was beloved in San Francisco for his character — he will certainly be missed. “He was such a gentleman, such a nice guy,” Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy said. “I’m honored that I got a chance to know him. He loved being around the game.” The team honored him by giving him a moment of silence, a video memorializing his life, and a chance for his family to place a special third base, one sporting Davenport’s number 12, in the diamond.
Davenport played twelve years in the major leagues, all for the Giants, from 1958-1970. He played in 1501 games in his time with the franchise, good for the fourth-most in team history. He was a defensive whiz, picking up a Gold Glove in 1962 and going 97 straight games without committing an error, setting a major league record at the time.
After his career was over, he became a talent evaluator and coach, deeply dedicated to making the Giants’ organization better every day until his passing. That’s why he’d be so proud of the Giants’ win on Friday — home-drafted talent, which he might have been a part in acquiring, like Joe Panik and Buster Posey, helped the Giants beat the Dodgers.
Jake Peavy had struggled, giving up four runs in five innings, surrendering ten hits and striking out just three. But even down 4-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth, the Giants never gave up, cutting the lead to 4-3 after Panik had an RBI triple and Posey an RBI double in the fifth.
Panik finished the day 3 for 5 with 3 RBI’s after driving in runs on RBI singles in the sixth and eighth innings, while Posey went 3 for 5 with 2 RBI’s after adding an RBI single of his own in the sixth, driving in Panik. Hunter Pence had a grand slam to break the game open in the eighth, giving the Giants a 12-6 lead, and they never looked back.