Athletics Reaction

Ex-A's slugger, home run champ Davis pursuing auto mechanic dream

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From home run champ to car mechanic -- the sky is the limit for former Athletics slugger Khris Davis.

Davis recently told USA Today's Bob Nightengale that he has retired from baseball and will trade his bat and glove for a wrench and some coveralls.

"There was no more opportunity for me in baseball," Davis told Nightengale. "So it took a lot of searching of who I was outside baseball. I’m still young. I didn’t want to just sit at home."

Davis spent the first three seasons of his MLB career with the Milwaukee Brewers before being traded to the A's in 2016, where, outside of a short stint with the Texas Rangers, he spent the majority of his playing career. The powerful slugger hit 40 or more home runs with at least 100 RBI in three consecutive seasons with Oakland, leading the major leagues in homers with 48 in 2018.

Davis terrorized big-league pitchers for years, and he now hopes to gain the trust of customers with car trouble.

Davis told Nightengale that he attended the Arizona Automotive Institute for one year, graduated a few weeks ago and soon will apply to car dealerships and mom-and-pop shops.

"It was a challenge because I didn’t even know how to change a tire before going to school," Davis said. "I loved cars, but didn’t know what to expect. I knew I was going to be behind. I just dedicated myself to it."

That dedication included going to class from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. five days a week, learning about everything it takes to be a car mechanic.

Davis explained that the class originally had 15 students, but by the end of the course, there were only four students who graduated.

"I was the like old guy trying to stay young and hang around," Davis said, laughing. "The other guys were 19-and-20-year-old kids who had been working on cars since they were 5. They weren’t even old enough to drink. But it was a lot of fun. It was comforting to learn about cars. It had that nostalgia feel to it because I really got into cars when I was like 13 and I saw Fast & Furious. That movie was epic.

"I just wanted to be part of that scene where you just have like car friends and guys hang out at shows and races. There’s something to be said about having a nice car."

Davis has come a long way from not knowing how to change his own tire. He said he now can change his own oil and is "tinkering" with his '61 Chevrolet Impala as a project.

And after years of spending most of his time on the diamond, he now enjoys hanging out in his garage.

"I’m going to get a job after the summer and family vacations are over. I’ll be an entry-level tech doing tires, oils and lubes, everything," Davis said. "I’d love one day to do tune-ups on street racing cars, customization, restoration, just to be part of a club and go to car shows and just enjoy that scene."

Davis might be pursuing a new career to follow a long-time dream, but he doesn't anticipate leaving his first love -- baseball -- forever.

The 36-year-old one day would love to be a major-league coach, get on their pension program and close out the remaining one year and 133 days left of service time to be a fully-vested 10-year player.

"Ideally, that would be a nice way to close out the chapter,"’ Davis said. "It would meet my goal of playing in the big leagues for 10 years. It just feels incomplete because I didn’t reach my goal. It would be cool to finish out like that."

For now, he's just excited to get the ball rolling on a new endeavor.

"I wanted to find myself outside baseball," Davis says, "and now I have. I wonder about guys that have less time than me, and are going through this. I never really talked to anybody about it.

"It’s tough when your done playing, but I can’t wait to get started."

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