Jim Davenport, Giants legend, dies at 82

Jim Davenport, a San Francisco Giants player and coach across three decades, died Thursday night at 82 in Redwood City.

The Giants organization announced Friday morning that the former Giants player and coach died of heart failure. Davenport, a San Francisco Giant through and through, starred on the team during their inaugural season in San Francisco and played out the rest of his 13-year career with the club.

Davenport received accolades during his career, including an All-Star berth and Gold Glove award in 1962, a season where he also posted a career high 14 home runs and finished 24th in the National League Most Valuable Player voting.

At the end of the 1962 season, he helped the Giants to his only National League pennant alongside Hall of Famer and Giants icons Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and Orlando Cepeda. The season ended in defeat at the hands of the New York Yankees. Davenport was selected via fan vote as the third basemen for the Giants’ 25th Anniversary Dream Team in 1982.

In 1,501 career games — the fourth most in Giants history — Davenport posted a .258 batting average to go with 77 home runs and 456 runs batted in.

Following his retirement from his playing career after the 1970 MLB season, Davenport remained with the Giants organization as a coach. He briefly took the reigns as manager in 1985, leading the Giants to a last-place 56-88 finish before being replaced by Roger Craig in the season’s final weeks.

Davenport transitioned into other organizational roles including first base coach, scout and a minor league advisor.

Davenport’s 51 years of service to the organization is an astounding tenure, second only to the unreal 80 years put in by legendary clubhouse manager, Mike Murphy.

The San Francisco Giants president, Laurence Baer reacted on behalf of the organization’s to Davenport’s death:

“The passing of Jim Davenport brings great sadness to our organization. Jim had a wonderful spirit and was a great Giant. We will always remember Davvy. We express our deepest condolences to his family and will have them in our thoughts and prayers.”

An MLB.com article quoted Davenport’s longtime teammate and friend, Joey Amalfitano on Davenport’s influence with the Giants:

“Jimmy’s a pillar of that organization. If you cut his veins, red wouldn’t come out. It would be Orange and Black.”