Davis' reunion with Tribe elicits Game 7 memories

Davis' reunion with Tribe elicits Game 7 memories

MESA, Ariz. -- Rajai Davis has not completely left the Indians' clubhouse. On Tuesday morning, Brandon Guyer reached into his locker and pulled out a pack of new blue arm bands for the upcoming season. Stitched onto a white patch is a cartoon rendering of Davis' smiling face.

After all Davis did for the Tribe last year -- topped off by one of the great home runs in World Series history -- Guyer figures the bands might bring him a little luck.

"I'm going to ride with Raj for now," Guyer said with a smile.

During Cleveland's trip to Hohokam Stadium on Tuesday, Davis led off for the A's, who signed the veteran outfielder to a one-year pact after his stint with the Tribe in 2016. On his way to the plate, Davis smiled, saluted the Indians' bench and gave a little fist pump. As Davis stepped into the batter's box, Indians catcher Roberto Perez patted him on the shoulder with his mitt.

Davis said Tuesday felt like a family reunion for him.

"That was the best year of my Major League career thus far," Davis said. "Just the entire team, the atmosphere, the chemistry that we had. The teammates. It was just a good environment to play in."

Even though he was only with the Indians for one season, Davis made a lasting impact.

Not only did Davis lead the American League in stolen bases (43), the outfielder also collected the eighth cycle in franchise history in a game against the Blue Jays on July 2. Of course, what he will forever be remember for by Indians fans is the game-tying home run he belted off Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the World Series.

Davis choked up more than usual, and then ripped a pitch from Chapman down the left-field line at Progressive Field, where it soared just over the ballpark's 19-foot wall. The crowd erupted, Cleveland players poured onto the field in celebration and Davis raised an arm skyward as he sprinted around first base.

Statcast: Chapman vs. Davis

"As soon as he hit it, everybody started saying, 'Go! Go!'" Perez recalled. "It went out and the crowd was going crazy. We started jumping around. A new ballgame. We had the momentum, and then the rain came. But, it was awesome, man. It was a good experience, a great run. We gave all we had."

Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor said it took a moment for the magnitude of Davis' homer to sink in.

"I was sitting down," Lindor said. "I was looking around like, 'What?' Then, I jumped the fence. It took me a couple seconds for me to realize. That was insane."

"It was almost like it blew the roof off the place," Indians reliever Andrew Miller added. "It was so much fun. I remember watching the replay, the camera guy falling over, and all the stuff that went with it. It would've been neat if we could've made it really count and found a way to make that the difference in the game.

"But, what an incredible swing. I don't think you can have a bigger swing in a bigger moment in the sport of baseball."

Davis on Best Postseason Moment

As Davis returned to the dugout after his Game 7 shot, Carlos Santana wrapped him in a bear hug and hoisted the outfielder in the air.

"It was reaction -- the emotion of the game and the emotion with the moment," Santana said. "He was fighting, fighting, fighting. Chapman has a power fastball, so when he made the home run, it was something crazy. I told God, 'It's you.'"

Inside the A's clubhouse in Mesa, Davis wore a green arm band with a rendering of his face on a white patch.

Told that Guyer was still sporting a similar band, Davis grinned.

"Come on. Come on," Davis said with a laugh. "That's my man."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.