Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Letter by 9-year-old Red Sox fan inspired Orioles' Chris Davis to break out of historic slump

The 2019 MLB season didn’t begin quite like Baltimore Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis had hoped.

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By April 13, after 14 games, he was 0 for 33 on the season and 0 for 54 dating back to Sept. 14 of last season. All players go through slumps, but Davis’ 0-for-54 was historic. His prolonged hitless streak set the record for the longest drought in MLB history for a position player.

Davis and the Orioles were in Boston that day to play the Red Sox, and by then, news of Davis’ infamous record had made its way around the country. A 9-year-old fan of the Red Sox decided to do something to help a division rival.

Henry Frasca composed a letter of encouragement to Davis before the game, and it found its way into the slugger’s hands. Davis was so touched by Frasca’s letter that he slipped it into a Bible he carries around.

During the game later that day, Davis finally put an end to his slump by going 3 for 5 in an Orioles win.

Davis ensured he won’t soon forget about the 9-year-old’s compassionate gesture. He has kept that Bible and Frasca’s note with him ever since.

The Orioles were back in Boston at Fenway Park this weekend for a series against the Red Sox, and so was Frasca, as Davis’ special guest:

Frasca had the opportunity to meet Davis, run around in front of the Green Monster and read his letter aloud. “The way you play baseball has absolutely nothing to do with how good of a person you are,” Frasca’s letter said in part.

Frasca thanked Davis for giving him the best day of his life. “I just wanted to give him a hug,” Davis said in the MLB video. “I think a lot of times, people don’t really realize how much they impact us.”

Davis, 33, is an unashamed follower of Christ. But he said at the age of 24, he realized he had placed baseball on a pedestal in his life where God should have been. He cried out in prayer for God to become the center of his life and to rid him of the worldly desires that made his life feel empty and lifeless.

God answered his prayer.

“I believe what the Bible teaches is true,” Davis said in a video for The Increase. “I believe that Christ is the Son of God, and I believe that He died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave.”

Davis walks in freedom and power that is not his own, whether he’s hitting .176 like this season or piling up a league-leading 53 home runs like he did in 2013.

“You have the strength that no one in the world can match,” Davis said in The Increase video. “You have the strength of God inside you.”

Sometimes, though, even the strongest followers of Christ need a reminder, like a heartfelt letter from a 9-year-old Red Sox fan.

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