Kai Davis helped the Arizona RBI senior team go 2-0 in Day 1 of round-robin play in the 2012 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities World Series on Thursday. The squad claimed a 2-1 morning victory over Harrisburg before taking a 7-3 win against Think Detroit in the nightcap, with both games at Minneapolis' Parade Stadium.
The 17-year-old may have not been born yet, but he's plenty familiar with the 1991 Twins World Series championship run. Kai said that year's World Series is recorded on his television, and he watches it occasionally -- especially Game 6.
"At first, I would watch it just to see my dad," said Kai, who went a combined 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI single in two games on Thursday. "After I saw [Kirby Puckett's walk-off home run], it was really inspiring. Just how David Freese did it [last year]. Some of these guys, you wouldn't really expect it from. But Kirby held the team on his back and made sure he got the job done. It was cool to see him do that little fist pump and stuff."
As a younger child, Kai spent some time around Puckett, who owned a house near his father's in Arizona and was good friends with him. Kai normally wears No. 34 in Puckett's honor.
"He was just bigger than life," Kai said "He's a big role model. He was big and he went in there and got the job done. He was a team leader. He did everything he could to help out everybody around him. Not just people on the baseball field, but people outside of it.
"It was really fun seeing him, because he wasn't just a good baseball player -- he had a message when he was playing."
Despite being the son of a three-time Major League All-Star, Kai carries an easily detectable modesty and a bright smile. And Arizona manager John Jacobs described him as an underdog -- only appropriate considering Kai's reverence for Puckett.
He's also a switch-hitter, just like his father.
"If Kai ever figured out what he has -- he's a really, really strong kid," Jacobs said. "That's one of the things that kind of benefits him. He doesn't take anything too seriously. Every once in a while, he gets too hard on himself.
"He's going to continue to grow. His power, it's unlimited."
Kai and his Arizona teammates showed on Thursday why they should be considered a legitimate contender for the RBI World Series Championship, which will be played at Target Field on Sunday.
Though if Kai had his pick, he might even prefer playing in another nearby stadium -- for old time's sake.
"I was talking to the coaches like, it'd be great to play in the Metrodome," Kai said. "But it'd be amazing [to play in the championship]. That's what our goal is. We worked really hard for it."
Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less