Davis' Sox Connection

Rashied Davis thinks that it could be time to put away his California Angels hat in deference to Sox pitching ace Jon Garland, who was Davis' former classmate at John F. Kennedy High School in Granada Hills, California. Although Davis' athletic allegiance has traditionally gone to just about any team from the Sunshine State, he says that he's ready to make the big change.

"I guess it's time to move on," Davis said. "I love the Angels, I love the Dodgers even more. The Raiders? I watched a lot of their games while I was growing up. I lived in California and spent most of my time rooting for those local teams. But hey, I'm a Chicago guy now. I was in line at a store the other day getting a Sox hat like everybody else in this town. It's high time for me to be a lot more supportive of the teams who are located right here."

Davis is in the process of trying to reach Garland, who he hasn't spoken to in several years.

"I doubt that Jon has any idea that I am now living in Chicago, and he certainly doesn't know that I'm with the Bears," Davis said. "In fact the last time we spoke, football was the furthest thing from my mind. I think Jon would be amazed that I became a professional athlete."

For much of the time that Garland and Davis were teenagers together, Davis was content to watch sports, but was definitely not interested in being an active participant.

"Jon had talent right from the get go," Davis said. "He was spectacular on the basketball court and great on the mound. It was evident pretty early that he had a big future ahead of him."

For Davis, Garland was a role model, but one whose athletic skills Davis never thought he'd be able to equal.

"Jon and I used to hang out a lot when we were in junior high, and even more when we were both at the same high school," said the first year cornerback. "He could do anything he tried. He did well in class, and even better on the field. I was kind of small for my age and although I could run well, I never saw much of a future in that skill."

What Davis appreciated most was Garland's friendship.

"Jon was a local guy," Davis said. "The school was in his neighborhood. I was bussed in from further away. At first, I felt completely disoriented and out of my natural element. It was difficult for me to make friends and to feel comfortable in that new environment. Jon always went out of his way to let me know that he was my friend."

Garland and Davis played together on the eighth grade basketball team, but that was the last time they participated in the same sport. Garland went on to excel in baseball in high school, while Davis concentrated more on his study skills.

"I really wanted to get into college," Davis said. "That's where I put most of my concentration during high school. I suspect that academics came easier to Jon than they did to me. He seemed to always have time to be doing sports."

Garland went into the minor leagues immediately after high school, while Davis achieved his goal of attending college at San Jose State.

"It wasn't until I was older that I even considered playing a sport again," Davis said. "I was always pretty fast, so the coach suggested that I tryout in football as a cornerback. That seemed to be the perfect position for me, I was competitive and liked the defensive part of that job. It went so well in college that I eventually would up in Arena ball with the San Jose Saber Cats after graduation."

Now, however, Davis also finds himself interested in baseball.

"I turned on the TV the other night and there was Jon, exactly as I had remembered him," Davis said. "Of course I was aware that he was with the Sox, but as a new player here with the Bears, I had little time to watch another team's games until pretty recently. But I plan to catch all that I can of the Series. That's such a big thing for this town, and it's pretty cool to have an old friend who is actually playing in the games."

Any thoughts of going downtown to see Garland in person?

"Man, that's so frustrating. I was online all morning Tuesday, which was my day off. I was just trying to get a ticket for any of those games. I never even got through to the website. Since then, I've made a lot of calls and so far I've found nothing. I'm thinking, though that I might give the Sox PR staff a call. At least I'll have them relay a good luck message to Jon, and maybe I'll have the chance to go and see him in person. That would be the best of all."


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