Jim Davenport, Former Giants Player and Manager, Dies at Age 82

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2016

Former San Francisco Giants player Jim Davenport is shown before a baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates in San Francisco, Friday, April 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Former San Francisco Giants infielder and manager Jim Davenport died on Thursday night at the age of 82. 

The Giants released a statement about Davenport's death on Twitter:  

As the Giants' statement on Davenport's passing noted, he spent most of his life with the franchise after beginning his Major League Baseball career as a player in 1958. 

Davenport played 13 seasons with the Giants, making one All-Star team and winning a Gold Glove at third base in 1962. He hit .258/.318/.367 with 77 home runs in 1,501 career games before hanging up the cleats following the 1970 season. 

After Davenport's playing career ended, he remained a staple of the Giants organization, even managing the team for part of the 1985 season. The Alabama native did have brief coaching stints with other organizations even though his heart never really left San Francisco, per Chris Haft of MLB.com in February 2014:

Except for stints as a coach with San Diego (1974-75), Philadelphia ('88) and Cleveland ('89) and as an advance scout for Detroit ('91-92), Davenport has remained a Giant since he signed his first professional contract in 1955. He expects to begin his 50th Giants season in early March by visiting Minor League camp at Spring Training, where he'll help tutor and evaluate players.

In Haft's story on Davenport's 50 years with the Giants, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey said his former teammate "was one of those steadying rods on that team," adding Davenport is "as much a part of the Giant organization as me and [Willie] Mays."

While not as well known to a mass audience like San Francisco legends McCovey and Mays, Davenport played a crucial role for the franchise during his playing days, helping the team reach the 1962 World Series before losing to the New York Yankees

Davenport's love and commitment to the Giants will allow his legacy to live on long after his death.