Saturday, February 18, 2017

In Memory of Tom Davis (aka Crashmo): 1953-2015

Tom "Crash" Davis: 1953-2015
KOD Family...Last week I found out that one of our long term members Tom "Crash" Davis passed away.  Manny of you might have known him from the Action Forum as Crashmo.  He assured me that his nickname "Crash" had nothing to do with the movie Bull Durham and everything to do with his wild college days up in Ann Arbor.  Tom joined KOD in our second season and immediately became the "owner/manager" of his beloved Detroit Tigers franchise.  Tom was a core member of KOD until we completed the KOD21 season in July of 2015.  At that point Tom, who was recovering from a heart attack, lost his mom to cancer and needed to take some time off to focus on his life.  From that point on the e-mail's and texts became few and far between.  Each successive KOD I would e-mail him to see how things were doing and try to cajole him into returning to the KOD family.  I began to become concerned, because I did not get a response from him, so I tried to track him down via social media.  I posted a few "Hey Tom, how's it going" messages on his Facebook Wall, but that didn't get a response.  Eventually I went into full "stalker mode" and looked through his FB friends and found a friend of his named Larry Davis.  

My assumption was that Larry was a relative.  I sent Larry a FB message explaining who I was and why I was concerned.  In a few days Larry responded to my message with the ultimate bad news, "This is Tom's brother. Tom passed away due to a heart attack (2nd) in Nov. 2015. Sorry to have to give the the bad news.".  Larry and I discussed Tom's passion for our league and sports.  I offered him my deepest condolences and let him know just how important Tom was to KOD and how much he would be missed.  Larry responded by saying, "We (Tom & Larry) talked often of the online fantasy baseball leagues he participated in, he loved the challenges, competition and companionship. Thanks for being a part of the happiness in his life."

To say I was shocked, dumbfounded an heartbroken is an understatement.  For close to a decade Tom
Tom's favorite Tiger of all time
was a key member of KOD and a friend who I could discuss sports/real life with.  When I thought about going to Law School to further my career in compliance, Tom volunteered to help me out and sponsor me to "Read for the Law", so I didn't have to go to Law School and take the BAR exam.  Not only was Tom a great friend, but he was also a great criminal lawyer in the Detroit area.  He cared deeply about his clients and their legal rights.

Tom and I were fully vested in 2 sports causes.  We both wanted to see Jack Morris and Alex Karras elected to their respected sports Halls of Fame.  We had this letter writing and social media campaign cooked up to push the powers that be to get these men enshrined.  Tom was Detroit sports through and through.  He loved his hometown teams with a passion.  Norm Cash was his favorite Tiger.  Tom would talk about how Mayo Smith (Tiger Manager) would sit Norm vs lefties, even though Norm crushed lefties.  40+ years after the fact it still irked him, because he was a smart passionate fan of the Motown 9.  Tom grew up during that great 1960's-1970's era and he knew everything their was to know about the Al Kaline-Norm Cash-Mickey Lolich era Tigers.  1968 was his favorite baseball year !

The Schypinski caper was one of Tom's favorite KOD moments
Tom had many accomplishments as a KOD manager, which you'll see below, but one of his greatest KOD accomplishments was his ability to help me track down Jerry Schypinski, who played just 22 games for the 1956 Kansas City A's.  To most people, Mr. Schypinski would be an outlier who's non-descript MLB career wouldn't merit much attention. Not to Tom and myself.  When I couldn't find a picture of him anywhere on the net I tracked him down and found out he lived in the Detroit area.  When I told Tom he quickly volunteered to call Mr. Schypinski and see if he had any photos from his playing days.  Tom not only got in touch with him, but he visited him and actually picked up some great photos, which we used for that KOD8, which coincidentally Tom won (good karma ???).  I can't tell you how excited both of us were, but we weren't half as excited as Mr. Schypinski who "couldn't believe anyone even remembered a bit player like me at all".

I think back to Tom's managerial accomplishments and I'd like to share a few with you:
  • Tom won the KOD8 championship.  Oddly enough he won it while managing the '57 Giants.
  • Tom first made the KOD World Series in season 3 with the 2006 Tigers losing 4 games to 2 to the '77 Dodgers.
  • In 20 KOD seasons (KOD2-21) Tom made the playoffs an incredible 14 times.
  • He had some epic post season battles with Douglas Zaner and myself.
  • Tom suffered some heartbreaking post season losses, but he always came back hard the next year
  • Ironically Tom's only KOD championship occured during his one season at the helm of the NY Giants.
  • Tom helped me re-write the KOD rules after the completion of our inaugural season.  He acted as our "legal counsel" and would review and approve all subsequent rules changes.
Below is a listing of Tom's exemplary career record as a KOD manager (435-322, .545%):

KOD02 DET - 20-17 2nd Pl Lost LDS 3-2
KOD03 DET - 19-17 3rd Pl Lost WS  4-2
KOD04 DET - 13-15 5th Pl
KOD05 DET - 21-15 1st Pl Lost LDS 3-1
KOD06 DET - 23-15 1st Pl Lost LDS 3-1
KOD07 DET - 23-15 2nd Pl Lost LDS 3-0
KOD08 NYG - 23-11 1st Pl Won WS 4-0
KOD09 DET - 17-20 4th Pl
KOD10 DET - 28-10 1st Pl Lost LCS 4-1
KOD11 DET - 25-13 1st Pl Lost LCS 4-2
KOD12 DET - 24-18 2nd Pl Lost LDS 3-0
KOD13 DET - 29-23 2nd Pl Lost LCS 3-2
KOD14 DET - 14-16 4th Pl
KOD15 DET - 15-12 2nd Pl Lost LDS 3-1
KOD16 DET - 15-30 7th Pl
KOD17 DET - 23-22 4th Pl
KOD17 PIT - 25-21 1st Pl Lost LDS 3-2
KOD18 DET - 19- 9 2nd Pl Lost LDS 3-0
KOD19 DET - 22-16 2nd Pl Lost WC Game
KOD20 DET - 16-23 4th Pl
KOD23 DET - 21-24 6th Pl

In conclusion I would like to nominate Tom for the KOD HOF, which is scheduled to open up at the conclusion of the KOD25 season.  I think it only fitting that he be our first enshrinee due to his dedication, persistence and success as a KOD manager and a good friend.  I'm sure you will all agree with me on this and waive to formality of an official vote. 

1957 NY Giants:  Tom's lone KOD championship team.

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