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13 Apr

Crash Davis: The Professional Baseball Player Who Inspired the Main Character in the Film, Bull Durham

Posted by hy nguyen

 Making a film based on a life of a person, living or dead, is nothing new in the movie industry. Time and time again, films are being made for the non-fiction genre which makes for a break from the tried and usual fictitious films solely made by human creativity.

But then there are also those fiction films whose characters are inspired after real-life people who are significant enough in what they do.

In an attempt to commemorate a legend in the sport of baseball, the film “Bull Durham” is made in the late 1980’s, giving tribute to the person popularly known as Crash Davis behind the film’s main protagonist.

But who is Crash Davis exactly and why must a film be made base on his character?

While popular to a name Crash Davis within the sports industry and his fans, the name “Crash” is actually a nickname held by a person whose real name is Lawrence Columbus Davis.

Apparently, the nickname Crash came to be as a result of the young Lawrence getting in collision with a team mate when playing fly ball as a kid. 

He was born in Canon, Georgia but was raised in Gastonia, North Carolina.

Although not much is known about Davis’ life as a kid, the name rose to fame in high college as an excellent middle infielder and a captain to his baseball team. Davis then proceeded to pursue on a professional career soon after graduating from Duke University when he played for the Philadelphia Athletics, initially lasting only three seasons.

In his first three seasons in the MLB, Davis made a battering average of 0.240.

His stint at the MLB was temporarily halted when he chose to enlist in the US Navy in 1942 during the time of World War II.

But instead of participating in the actual battlefield, Crash was sent back to Harvard University to help conduct the ROTC program in his alma mater. In line with being an aid for ROTC, Davis was also a coach to the university’s two sports programs, baseball and squash.

A year after World War 2, Davis was discharged from his military roles. Returning to his former university, not as a coach or an aid for military purposes, Davis pursued higher education by enrolling for graduate schooling and consequently play for the university’s team, the Durham Bulls.


(See Crash Davis’ baseball jersey with the Durham Bulls here at Boriz Jersey!)

Instead of resuming a career in the major league, Davis chose to play for the minor leagues until 1952.

With Crash Davis’ personality clear cut as a personification of the main character in the film, Bull Durham, Lawrence became an instant yet minor celebrity.

Crash Davis died at an age of 82 after suffering from a complications of stomach cancer in 2001.


(Interested in getting the same jersey as Crash Davis? Get one for your size here at Boriz Jersey!)

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