Bill Davis, who lettered in basketball and baseball for the Gophers and was a member of the Gophers team that won the 1964 College World Series, died on Friday. He was 80.
The 6-foot-7 Davis batted .350 and hit six home runs as the Gophers first baseman in 1964 and made the CWS all-tournament team. Following the season, he was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor, recognizing a player in the graduating class of each school for academic and athletic success.
After college, Davis played professional baseball for five seasons. He spent parts of three seasons in the major leagues, appearing in 64 games with the Cleveland Indians (1965-66) and the expansion San Diego Padres (1969).
Davis' one major league home run was a noteworthy one: Pinch hitting for Larry Brown with two out and a runner on first in the bottom of the 10th inning against the California Angels, he hit a walkoff shot off Jack Sanford to lift Cleveland to an 8-7 victory on Sept. 9, 1966.
Davis was born on June 6, 1942, in Graceville, Minn. — also the birthplace of former Twins manager Tom Kelly — and would become a standout athlete at Richfield High School.
As a senior in 1960, Davis led Richfield to the boys basketball state tournament. He scored 26 points in a semifinal overtime loss to eventual champion Edgerton in front of 18,812 fans at Williams Arena.