MLB Alumni: Dave Davidson
In what was easily one of Team Ontario's most talented recruiting classes, Dave Davidson was apart of our Class of 2002 which saw a total of eleven players selected in the MLB Draft. Not only did it feature eleven drafted players, but Davidson was one of two players from the class to eventually appear in the major leagues, alongside Chris Leroux.
Davidson, a left-hander from St. Catharines, was selected by Pirates in the 10th-round and spent his first two pro seasons in rookie ball, pitching a total of 26 innings. His fourth pro season, 2006, was when he truly began to impress within the organization as he started the year in Single-A and worked his way up to Triple-A years end.
In 2006 hurled 76 innings, a career high, with an ERA of 2.01 while racking up 96 strikeouts compared to 33 walks. This put him on the Pirates radar as the team headed to camp in 2007.
Davidson, now 36-years-old, pitched the entire minor league season between Double-A and Triple-A in what was another solid season for the Team Ontario alumni. He worked to an ERA of 3.88 over 67.1 innings with a record of 4-1.
The Pirates deemed his track record good enough for a September call-up, with his big league debut coming on September 6th at Busch Stadium in St. Louis in front of 42,330 fans. Davidson pitched one inning against a Cardinals lineup that featured David Eckstein, Rick Ankiel, Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina.
His Pirates team that year had several Canadians connections as his offence featured Canadian slugger Jason Bay and Toronto Blue Jays legend Jose Bautista. Davidson appeared in one more game that September, pitching one inning against the Houston Astros.
He eventually found his way to Florida Marlins organization where he worked his way back up to the majors, appearing in one game for the Marlins in 2009.
While reaching the big leagues might be at the top of Davidson's baseball achievements, his work with the 2008 Canadian Olympic Team in Beijing is likely right up there with it. Not only did he appear in the Olympic games, but the following year he pitched for Team Canada at the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He worked one inning in the tournament opener against Team U.S.A in front of a sold out Rogers Centre as the team fell to the Americans in a tight contest, 6-5.