The Cubs decided to change up their coaches earlier this week, we welcomed hitting coach Chili Davis and pitching coach Jim Hickey. They’re the new kids on the block so we figured you’d want some information about them. Here’s 12 facts about the new guys running our baseball team:
1. Davis’s nickname origin: His birthname is actually Charles, but in 1982 he explained to Sporting News how he got the nickname Chili: “My dad gave me a haircut. And it wasn’t a very good one. When I went out of the house, my friends got on my case and said it looked like someone put a chili bowl over my head and cut around it.”
2. Hickey is a native, having been born in Chicago in 1961. He grew up on the South Side. His dad, James, was a Navy boxer who once went up against Joe Louis.
3. Davis was actually born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1960. He set the record as the first major league player born there. In 1981 he made his MLB debut with the Giants.
4. Hickey was playing as a pitcher out of the University of Texas Pan-American when he was drafted out of the University of Texas-Pan American by the White Sox in 1983, and then played eight seasons in the minors (Appleton Foxes, San Antonio Missions, Columbus Mudcats).
5. Davis played in the majors for 18 years, first with the Giants, then Angels, Twins, Angels again, Royals and ended it with the Yankees. He was on three World Series-winning teams: Twins in 1991, Yankees in 1998 and 1999. He was a three-time All Star.
6. Hickey worked in the minors as a pitching coach. He went on to take over that job with the Houston Astros back in 2004. Essentially he was the guide to help that team to the 2005 World Series, where they were beat by the White Sox.
7. Davis is a switch hitter, he once hit homers from each side of the plate in the same game 11 times. The only other person to set that record was Eddie Murray. In his career, he hit 350 homers and drove in 1,372 runs.
8. Back in 2006, Hickey took the pitching coach job with the then-called Devil Rays, where he got the chance to work with Joe Maddon.
9. Davis actually began coaching in 2007 in the land down under with the Australian National Baseball team. That was until the Dodgers called and hried him for their instructional league. In 2011, the took the hitting coach job with the Athletics and then moved to the Red Sox in 2014.
10. After his playing career ended, Hickey considered a job as a salesman. But what did he want to sell? “I don’t know, probably paper,” he told the Tampa Bay Times.
11. Davis told the Boston Globe this about his coaching philosophy: “Sometimes you have to back off. Sometimes it’s not the right time to approach certain guys. They’re big league ballplayers. If you’re in their face all the time the message gets diluted. Sometimes they need to figure it out for themselves.”
12. Maddon called Hickey “the Pied Piper” for how he got his pitchers to follow him. “The way he communicates the message to his pitchers makes him as good as he is,” Maddon told the Tampa Bay Times.