Rajai Davis will likely never experience a major league moment bigger than his iconic game-tying three-run home run in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series as a member of the Cleveland Indians. Perhaps the New York Mets were hoping there was still some magic left in his bat when they signed the 14-year veteran to a minor league contract in December. The hope was that Davis could provide some depth off the bench should the team suffer any injuries to their outfielder.
As is to be expected in any baseball season, the outfielders did suffer injury setbacks along the way. Specifically, a lingering neck injury to lineup mainstay Brandon Nimmo opened the door for Davis to make his Mets debut on May 22 against the Washington Nationals. In that game, the veteran entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and connected on a line drive three-run home run in his first at-bat with his new squad. He became the second Met player in 2019 to homer in his first plate appearance with the club, joining Robinson Cano. Two days later, Aaron Altherr would become the third.
The story of Davis hitting a homer in his first at-bat with the Mets was special enough, as it capped off an exciting six-run inning off Nationals closer Sean Doolittle in what would turn out to be a four-game sweep. The story entered unparalleled territory when Davis recounted the entertaining tale of his $243 Uber ride from Allentown, Pennsylvania. The driver, Jason, became something of a folk hero and one of the many interesting characters who pop up over the course of an 162-game season.
Here is Uber driver Jason, the true MVP of tonight's game— SNY (@SNYtv) May 23, 2019
(h/t Jason -- Facebook) pic.twitter.com/zSirUfjeDl
Two days later, Davis got his lone start as a Met, going 1-for-4 in a loss against the Detroit Tigers. He was DFAed and returned to Triple-A at the end of the week. His next call-up came in August, and he would go on to primarily serve as a late-inning defensive replacement, pinch hitter, or pinch runner. The outfielder picked up one double and one walk in ten August plate appearances.
His next big moment came on Saturday September 14 in a pivotal game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The contest featured a marquee pitching match-up between Jacob deGrom and Hyun-Jin Ryu, and the game remained scoreless going into the eighth inning. With the Dodgers’ ace out of the game, Davis entered as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded and the game still 0-0. The unlikely hero roped a double that cleared the bases and gave his squad a much-needed 3-0 victory. It was one of two hits for Davis in the season’s final month. Davis had an opportunity to play hero in the final game of the season, but he struck out with runners on first and third and one out in the tenth.
Despite hitting .200/.231/.400 with a 63 wRC+ and a 0.0 bWAR in 29 games with his team, Davis enjoyed two unforgettable moments with the Mets. He supplied two critical hits at key moments and one memorable story. He provided the team more or less the exact level of production you would expect from this sort of signing.