Jumbo Davis

Third Base
  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Kansas City
  • Team: Cowboys
  • League: American Association

James J. Davis (1861-1921) played 3rd base during 7 seasons for 6 major league teams (twice with Kansas City in different incarnations). He broke in with KC’s Cowboys of the Union Association in 1884 and later played for their American Association contingent in ’88-89. He also played for the Gladiators, Brooklyn’s Players’ League entry in 1890, finishing his time in the big leagues for the Washington Statesmen during their final year in the AA, 1891. “Jumbo” was a sturdy 5’11” and 195 lbs, hardly a giant but he must have impressed with his strength, leading the league in triples in ‘87 and generally hitting for a respectable average. His career BA was .272 with 468 hits in 453 games. The native New Yorker had begun minor league ball in 1883 with the Quincy, IL, Quincies in the Northwestern League (when Indiana, Illinois and Michigan were considered the “northwest”).

  • In 1888, Davis saved a girl from drowning at the Coney Island shore while the Cowboys were on a road trip to NY
  • Following his final game in D.C. “Big Jim” umpired some AA contests in 1891
  • Also played for the Orioles and Browns, finding his post-retirement home in St. Louis

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