ARLINGTON — Texas Rangers first baseman Chris Davis' life is teetering between what it once was, and the star he seems almost certain to become.
The Rangers called up the 22-year-old last week after he hit 23 home runs between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma. He got a hit in his first big league game and hit home runs in his second and third. All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler doused him with water during a postgame TV interview, though Davis' Faux Hawk haircut held its own.
"When you're coming up, you try to picture in your mind what it will be like,” Davis said blearily the morning after his debut in Houston. "But really man, there's nothing that can prepare you for what it feels.”
Davis' path to the big leagues hasn't humbled him, because he was humble before the scouts started calling while he was in high school. The color of his American Express card and the millions he might someday earn don't fuel his easy going nature. The simple things do.
"You go out in front of people who pay to see you play the game you love every day,” he said. "If that doesn't put a smile on your face, you're a pretty sad person.”
RedHawks catcher Taylor Teagarden has known Davis for three years. At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Davis, a Longview, Texas, native is imposing. But he's more or less a kid at heart.
"Chris isn't scared to get up on the dance floor every once in awhile,” Teagarden said. "He's really outgoing, he'll talk to anyone.”
Davis takes his relationships with those around him as seriously as he takes the swing that produced 36 homers in the minors last season. He never wants to be the stuck-up prima donna who doesn't have time to sign a kid's bat.
"I've always been a person who likes to make people laugh,” Davis said. "I try to be thankful with what God has blessed me. I think that's the least I can give back to Him, to try and create a positive persona people see and a person people like to be around.”
After hitting in the cage underneath AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, he carefully picks up every ball so someone else doesn't have to do it. RedHawks hitting instructor Hector Ortiz said players like Davis, who are eager to soak up instruction, make his job easier.