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KD homers wearing the love of a young fan on his shoulder

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Oakland Athletics designated hitter Khris Davis (2) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the third inning as the Texas Rangers face the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, August 20, 2018.

Khris Davis may be the quietest man in the Athletics clubhouse. He’s not especially fond of talking about himself, even on the regular occasion that he is instrumental in an Oakland victory.

He was reluctant to speak about his personal successes after hitting two homers in a loss to the Mariners on May 2, 2016.

To little surprise though, he opened himself up following a 9-0 victory over the Rangers that moved the A’s back into a tie atop the AL West Monday. But he wasn’t talking about his gargantuan homer that crashed off the window of a luxury box in left-center field, he was happy to talk about Anthony Slocumb, a 10-year-old sixth-grader at Claremont Middle School in Oakland.

Slocumb was one of 12 Oakland children welcomed by the A’s Monday as part of the Make-A-Wish foundation. Davis, on the verge of his third-straight 40-home run season, said:

“Anytime you’re seeing kids in a less-privileged situation it’s just heart-melting. Special.”

Slocumb’s Langerhans cell histiocytosis — a rare form of blood cancer — is in remission, according to Davis who was at his happiest making that report.

In his brief visit with Slocumb, Davis discovered that he was the youngster’s favorite baseball player, he said it was enough to get him fired up for the game. And when Slocumb asked for the slugger’s autograph Davis did something that his fan likely wasn’t expecting — he asked Slocumb to sign his jersey in return:

“It was a lot of emotion with those kids’ situations, the worst situation you can be in, probably. I just wanted to put a smile on his face and thought maybe it would mean something if I had my jersey signed by him.”

After chatting with the children, Davis went back to his normal pregame workout routine. Did he change his jersey for one without blue sharpie on the left shoulder? Nope:

“I wanted to rock that, I wanted him to know that I was thinking about him.”

Not only was Davis thinking about Slocumb when he made the decision to play, he was thinking about his young fan as he rounded the bases following a mammoth blast in the third inning — No. 37 on the season. At a loss for words, Davis said:

“I thought about him around the bases. Hopefully he can — there’s not a better feeling than hitting a home run. If he got some excitement and joy from watching that — hopefully he saw it.”


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s sports director and Oakland Athletics beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.

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