New York Mets: An interview with slugger “Just Dingers” J.D. Davis
J.D. Davis is still relatively new to the city of New York and the Mets. I was fortunate enough to speak with him about his start with the Mets and life as a baseball player.
J.D. Davis is still arguably the “new guy” on the New York Mets since he only arrived here in the offseason. I was fortunate enough to speak with him recently about his first few weeks with the team and life as a baseball player.
The Mets teamed up with the FDNY Foundation and The Hartford to host a fire safety event for kids that Davis attended on Friday, June 14, 2019. The opportunity to interview Davis was through Ketchum PR, so without them, it would not have been made possible.
After a misunderstanding due to a last-minute scheduling change and several phone calls, I was lucky enough to snag “Just Dingers” for five questions. Thank you to Mr. Davis and his representation for allowing me the time.
1. What was your initial thought/reaction when you found out that you were traded from Houston to New York in the offseason?
It was kind of bittersweet. They gave me the opportunity to live up my childhood dream to become a Major League Baseball player.
With the situation and where I was at with that lineup over there in Houston, it was tough to crack. It was sweet to get out of that situation and just get an opportunity somewhere else with not so many cups of coffee and going up and down. Just getting an opportunity to play every day. So I was excited and [felt] bittersweet at the same time. Bitter because at the same time that was all my friends I’ve grown up with and got to know through the system. Coaches and trainers and all that.
2. What’s the biggest difference playing in New York City from Houston?
Way more people and a lot of more buildings, a little more hectic, and the weather for sure, it’s probably already 100 degrees over there. Humid too. All of the above.
But yeah I don’t want to take anything away from Houston because you know their fans are engaged, but we have a little bit more of a bigger media spot [in New York] and the fans are a little bit more hungry over here than Houston. And again not taking anything away, they won a World Series and everything. The Mets want to win now and for the future, so to be a part of that is a great opportunity and humbling that someone wants you.
3. Who has impressed you the most this season on the Mets and why?
You know it’s pretty impressive what Dom Smith is doing. Jason Vargas with what he’s doing. Obviously Pete (Alonso), with what Pete does, but I think everybody expected. At least many fans had questions about it. A young guy but being teammates and seeing him and playing against him I knew that what he is doing exactly he’s capable of doing.
You know Mike Conforto, he’s doing great and being a team leader inside. (Todd) Frazier as well. The squirrel (Jeff McNeil), the flying squirrel with all his little squirrely hits. It’s pretty impressive to watch how he can put the bat on the ball and the barrel on the ball. You know, just getting the job done and getting on base for us.
4. Is there any player you modeled your game after growing up?
When I was younger I looked up to David Wright and Scott Rolen as third basemen because I knew I wanted to be a third baseman. So those were two guys that were role models. On and off the field, they were good leaders, good teammates and just went about the business the right way. You see the game growing up, (Ken) Griffey how the way he played, enjoyment always had a smile on his face.
5. At what point in your life did you realize you had a legitimate shot of making the major leagues?
I think I had a legitimate shot in college. It didn’t really hit me until then. Growing up through high school everybody pretty much has an opportunity. You know if you’re coming from a small town I wouldn’t say it’s easy or anything. You’re a big fish in a small pond. Any high school kid can feel like that so I think I needed to get exposed to college talent.
Once I started doing really well [in high school] I knew I had an opportunity to get drafted and go into pro ball. Then as I was going through pro ball that’s when I really knew I had an opportunity to be in the major leagues and be up there for a little bit.
After we concluded the interview Davis was even nice enough to take a picture with me. I thanked him since he took out a few minutes of his time which he didn’t have to do. After all, the Mets had a game that night. And Davis had a four-hit one ahead of him the day after.
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Thank you again to Mr. Davis, his representation, and Ketchum PR for making this all possible.