Rajai returns to Cleveland, talks World Series

Rajai returns to Cleveland, talks World Series

CLEVELAND -- A lasting memory for baseball fans near and far is relived in the Davis household often.

A's outfielder Rajai Davis has lost track of how many times he's seen video of his theatrical World Series Game 7 home run off of Aroldis Chapman last fall. His 2 year-old son, Jordan Michael, watches it on repeat.

"I can't even count," Davis said. "If I told you, I would be embarrassed.

"I gotta show Jordan Michael. He has to see it a lot of times. When we need the entertainment at the table, he wants to watch baseball, so we show him daddy's baseball."

Davis' clutch game-tying homer

Davis was back in Cleveland on Monday for the first time since belting his eighth-inning, game-tying home run for the Indians -- this time in the visitor's dugout wearing A's colors prepping for an ordinary four-game series opener.

The veteran outfielder, whose homer ultimately went for naught in the Indians' 10-inning loss to the Cubs, received his American League Championship ring prior to the game -- a celebration that evoked memories from a wild night at Progressive Field.

"It was a wow feeling," A's manager Bob Melvin said, "because I don't think anybody expects someone to hit a home run off of Chapman in a game like that."

"I don't think I've ever gotten over that," Davis said. "I continuously think about that night. It's something I suppose keeps me going. That moment of doing something that special at this level against the best players in the league on the biggest stage in the World Series … It's something that I want to remember. I think it just helps my morale, just a positive outlook."

Davis' attitude rarely strays from positive. It's one of his many traits that endears him to teammates, coaches and fans.

"He had that personality that was kind of infectious, and certainly his energy on the field, and then that home run he hit," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Part of what's fun about baseball is people seem to remember things like that. I don't know, I guess they do that in other sports, too. But it just seems like people will talk about that, I'm sure, for a long time.

"I hope whoever's here, will give him a really nice welcome back. And then I hope he strikes out four times."

Davis finished 1-for-4 in his return, with a single to right field in the top of the third inning.

Davis, who exited Cleveland as a free agent and returned to Oakland on a one-year deal over the winter, spoke fondly of Francona and said of the organization, "It was run really well from top to bottom. It was a great group of guys that was put together."

The Indians carried a 3-1 series lead in the Fall Classic before the Cubs rallied for three consecutive wins to end their 108-year World Series drought, turning Davis' heroics into a footnote.

"I feel like we left everything out on the field," Davis said. "We gave it our all. We wanted to win as bad as Chicago wanted to win. Unfortunately, somebody had to lose in order for someone to win. We just came up short."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.