Who could have imagined that more than 30 years later, Davis and Valle would be sharing the dugout again for Valle’s managerial debut?
Davis, a former Seattle Mariners great, has spent the first few games of the the Northwest League season as a fill-in coach with the Everett AquaSox, and that gave him the chance to once again hook up with his longtime Mariners teammate Valle.
“It would have been hard to imagine that our paths would continue to cross like this and would meet at this special moment in time,” Davis said. “A lot of things had to come together for us to both be here for his debut.”
Davis and Valle were Seattle teammates from 1984-91. Davis won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 1984 and hit 160 home runs in eight seasons in Seattle, where he earned the moniker Mr. Mariner. He was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame in 1997.
Davis returned to the Mariners organization in 2012 as a roving minor-league instructor. His current title is minor-league special assistant coordinator. He’s in Everett for the start of the season to fill in for Sox hitting coach Mike Davis, who can’t be with the team for the first series because of family commitments.
“It’s been great, it was a pleasant surprise,” said Davis, who was at his home in Riverside, Calif., when he found out Monday he was going to start the season with the Sox. “When Jack (Zduriencik, Seattle’s general manager) called and asked me if I could come up and provide some coverage for the hitters spot it was an easy decision.”
Because Davis, who will be in Everett through today’s game against Hillsboro, was with the Sox to begin the season, he was on hand as Valle made his managerial debut with Everett on Friday.
“I was just thinking this morning that this was the way things were supposed to be,” Davis said. “It just feels real natural to be here with Dave. We go back so far, 31 years now, and it’s good to be here with my good friend and provide as much support as I can.”
And when they were teammates, Davis always thought Valle was managerial material.
“Dave always payed attention to the game, being a catcher,” Davis said. “He thought the game, he’s a take-charge type of personality, and he knows the game really well. It was interesting for me to watch because Dave played longer than I did, and it was interesting to watch his career after I was done playing and how his career matured. Dave became one of those few guys who clubs want because of his veteran experience and the type of person he is.”
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