Wait nearly over for Davis' first taste of postseason

After more than 950 career games, outfielder eyes deep run for Tigers

Wait nearly over for Davis' first taste of postseason

DETROIT -- Rajai Davis started in center field Thursday night for his 953rd career Major League game. When the Tigers speedster takes the field next week, he'll be taking part in the first postseason game of his big league career.

He's looking for loftier goals than a Wild Card berth as well. But if anybody in the Tigers clubhouse could appreciate getting this far, it's Davis, who will take part in his first postseason baseball with his 34th birthday just a few weeks away.

"It does mean a lot," Davis said Thursday. "It's definitely something you dream about. I've always thought it was going to happen every year I started Spring Training. For it to happen this year, it's definitely why I came here, the biggest reason."

Davis signed a two-year contract with the Tigers as a free agent last December. Asked if that's why he joined, to get to the playoffs, Davis shook his head.

"No," he said. "I came here to win."

In fairness, other players have played more games without a playoff berth than Davis. Royals DH/first baseman Billy Butler played his 1,163rd big league game Thursday trying to clinch the Royals' first postseason berth since 1985.

Agewise, however, Davis has the 28-year-old Butler -- and many others -- beat.

"I've always had fun playing baseball," Davis said, "but this is definitely the funnest. With all the personnel we have here, all the players, it's definitely been a privilege."

Davis has played for two franchises that have made a habit of October baseball in recent years, but he left before they made it. He was with the San Francisco Giants in 2007-08, two years before they made it to the World Series, then went to Oakland. He left the A's for Toronto before the 2011 season, just over a year before the first of Oakland's back-to-back division titles.

Thus, he has an appreciation for what the Tigers accomplished. But he also appreciates what the Tigers are ultimately trying to do.

"We're not satisfied with just getting to the playoffs," Davis said. "Our satisfaction comes with winning -- winning it all. This organization has shown they can get the players, shown they can get to the World Series. But to win, it takes a lot more."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.