Once upon a time, Butch Davis was on the verge of something big with the Kansas City Royals, even if no one really knew it at the time.

See, after working his way up from being the Royals’ 12th-round pick in 1980, Davis got his first call to the Big Leagues in August 1983, and then stuck on K.C.’s Opening Day roster in 1984.

That was just in time for the Royals’ next run at greatness, which culminated in a classic, seven-game World Series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in 1985.

Alas, the Royals sent Davis back down to Triple-A Omaha in July 1984, and he stayed there all of the following season.

And, thus, he missed out on their first postseason action since 1981 — a 1984 ALCS loss to the Detroit Tigers — and then that magical October in 1985.

After not playing at all in 1986, Davis was cut loose by the Royals late that Fall, and then spent several years bouncing through organizations, with just an occasional cup of Major League coffee — Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays.

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Finally, he signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers in December 1992 and, somehow, at age 35, parlayed that deal into his most robust Big League season.

In 62 games, Davis accumulated 170 plate appearances, batting .245 and smacking three home runs while playing mostly in the corner outfield slots. His timing was impeccable from a cardboard perspective, as he latched on with the Rangers just in time to land card number 7 in the Decker postcard issue.

As far as I can tell, these were used for player appearances and also as giveaways at Arlington Stadium that summer, the last for that ballpark.

One interesting note about the Davis card is that it lists his correct uniform number (13) on the front but actually shows him wearing number 61 — which didn’t belong to any Rangers player that season.

As for the man himself, Davis made it into four more games with Texas in July of 1994, just a couple weeks before the strike killed that season. Otherwise, it was one more year in the minors before Davis hung up his spikes.

But only his playing spikes, because old number 13/61 embarked on a second career, as a hitting coach, in 2000, and is still swinging away after all these years.

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