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BASEBALL EXTRA | AROUND THE LEAGUE

Davis to Make First Start Since Surgery

September 15, 1997|Associated Press

Eric Davis will complete his return from colon cancer surgery when he starts in right field today for the Baltimore Orioles in the first game of a day-night doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians. It will be his first game since undergoing the operation June 13.

"I'm not selfish or trying to make a statement or anything on my own," Davis said Sunday. "I've been a baseball player for a long time. This is what I do. I just consider myself going back to work.

"I knew this day would come. I just didn't know when or where."

The timing of his return was much more uncertain than the location. From the moment he began working out with the Orioles on Aug. 22, Davis knew exactly where he wanted to make his return--at Camden Yards.

"I think for the organization, as well as the fans, they deserve it for the support they've given me all year," Davis said.

Davis, 35, received thousands of letters and phone calls since doctors removed a baseball-sized tumor from his colon. The outpouring of emotion was particularly gratifying and surprising to Davis because he had been with the organization only since December, having joined the Orioles as a free agent.

It's still uncertain how much of the game Davis can play, given that he hasn't played in nearly four months.

Davis was put on the disabled list May 31. He last played May 25, after hitting .302 with 10 doubles, seven home runs and 21 runs batted in over 34 games. His slugging percentage of .543 is the best on the team.

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