Programming note: NBC Sports California will air Khris Davis' iconic game with three home runs, including a walk-off grand slam, tonight at 8 p.m. PT.
“I just felt really good. I just remember being really locked in and focused.”
Khris Davis will never forget the game on the night of May 17, 2016 at the Oakland Coliseum when the A’s hosted the Texas Rangers. The back-and-forth game has special meaning for the A’s slugger.
Davis would hit three homers on the night, going 3-for-5 with six RBIs. The last of those homers would end in storybook fashion: A walk-off, grand slam.
“I remember striking out in between each home run,” Davis told NBC Sports California on Wednesday. “It went ‘home run, strikeout, home run,’ and I looked up, and I saw it, and I was like ‘Well, I’m either going to strike out or hit a home run, so I might as well make the best of it.’”
As the Rangers walked off the field following the 8-5 loss, KD was rounding third and was about to be greeted by a circle of green and gold.
But he had a trick up his sleeve. He had a special celebration planned, where he would take his helmet off and act as if it were a basketball and he was about to shoot his shot.
“I was thinking, “‘You better have a good dismount.’”
“I’ve seen guys just like jump into the pile and I just wanted to do something fun, and I was just thinking about having the tennis ball in the locker room,” he said. “And I just took my helmet and just shot it like it was a tennis ball, and that was the only thing that kind of came to my mind rounding third.”
He had been wanting to execute this dismount for a year now, and he finally got to do it in front of Rangers legend Adrian Beltre, who, if you watch the clip, clearly gave a look of disappointment. Davis knew that was a special moment to be going up against someone of Beltre’s caliber.
“I mean, [Beltre’s] a legend,” Davis explained. “Anytime you beat your opponent and just kind of see the body language turn, it’s one of those moments that I respect him like as a competitor because he’s … he’s the G.O.A.T. But just seeing the G.O.A.T. react to something you did is just so real. I’m just blessed to be competing against him really.”
While Davis normally is a designated hitter, on this night, he played left field. Playing the outfield isn’t something Davis finds himself doing often, but that was an important night to be out there. The crowd was getting into it. Especially a particular group in the left-field bleachers.
“Oh, it was a back-and-forth game, they were into it,” Davis said. “Left-field bleachers were feeling it. They were so into it. Left-field bleachers were letting me know.”
Beltre, the fans, and everyone watching at home got to see a game that Davis calls one of his best offensive performances.
“Yeah, absolutely by far,” he said. “I had a three-home run game in college, and they’re pretty special, they’re pretty rare.”
And what’s next?
“I want to hit four in a game,” he said. “Yep, that’s on the checklist.”