Eric Keith Davis (born May 29, 1962) is an American former center fielder for several Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, most notably the Cincinnati Reds, to which he owes his nickname Eric the Red. Davis was 21 years old when he made his major league debut with the Reds on May 19, 1984. Davis spent eight seasons with the Reds and later played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, St. Louis Cardinals, and San Francisco Giants. A right-handed batter and fielder, Davis was blessed with a mesmerizing combination of athletic ability, including excellent foot and bat speed, tremendous power, and superlative defensive acumen. He became one of baseball’s most exciting players during his peak, achieving a number of rare feats. In 1987, he became the first player in major league history to hit three grand slams in one month and the first to achieve at least 30 home runs and 50 stolen bases in the same season.
A native of Los Angeles, California, the Reds selected Davis in the eighth round of the 1980 amateur draft from John C. Fremont High School in South Los Angeles, where he was a heavily recruited college basketball prospect. In his major league career, he often sustained injuries while winning two MLB All-Star Game selections, three Rawlings Gold Glove Awards and two Silver Slugger Awards. Over a 162-game period spanning June 11, 1986, to July 4, 1987, he batted .308, .406 on-base percentage, .622 slugging percentage with 47 home runs, 149 runs scored, 123 runs batted in (RBI) and 98 stolen bases. In 1990, he became a World Series champion in the Reds’ upset and four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics.
A series of injuries derailed what seemed to be an even more promising career as he moved to the Dodgers and then the Tigers, and he retired in 1994. In 1996, Davis successfully restarted his baseball career with the Reds and was named the comeback player of the year. He moved to the Orioles and, despite fighting colon cancer, he had one of his best statistical seasons in 1998. Injuries again slowed Davis over the next few seasons, and he retired for good in 2001.
Along with other business interests, Davis currently works as a roving instructor in the Reds organization.