Sundays often found them in the batting cages at Longview High — dad throwing pitch after pitch and his son banging away — at 7:30 a.m.

“I didn’t have a book to go by,” Lyn Davis said. “I saw talent in Chris at an early age and said, ‘Lord, help me do the right thing with this child.’

“Yes, I could be very direct with him. I didn’t go too far, yet he did get his toes stepped on sometimes. But it never turned his flame down. Chris is intensely driven himself.”

Looking back, Davis credits his father with honing his work ethic but doesn’t pretend their kinship was easy.

“There was some resentment between my dad and I,” he said. “There were times when he was a little too critical, times when I didn’t understand why we were working on something when I’d had so much success.”

Once, in high school, during a 100-hour baseball fund-raiser, Davis snapped at his dad for carping at him.

“I’d taken about 30 swings when I popped one up, and then dad popped off to me,” he said. “So I absolutely murdered the next pitch, then turned to him and said, ‘Hey dad, when was the last time you hit a baseball that far?’

“We had a very competitive relationship. But he was a perfectionist, and that’s one of the reasons that I’m where I’m at.”

Lyn Davis still texts his son after every game. “In a lot of ways, what has happened to Chris still seems surreal,” he said. “I was just a tool in his life. I basically tried to teach him what I was taught.”

For all of that seriousness, Davis also loved to throw his body around in fun.

“Chris was known for breaking almost everything he came in contact with,” Elkins said. “Telephones. Wicker furniture. Ceilings.”


“We were playing PlayStation on the top bunk bed in Nick McJimsey’s house, and I got fired up, raised my head and just busted through the ceiling,” Davis recalled. “Another time, I broke their couch while wrestling with Nick.

“I was a bull in a china closet.”

Often, by accident.

“Chris was one of those guys who wound up testing the durability of everything, whether he meant to or not,” said Ty Davis, a high school friend. “When he got hold of something, it would somehow fall apart in his hands, but no one else’s.”

Once, while clowning in a friend’s swimming pool, Davis destroyed the diving board. He sprang off the end and the board just broke.

“He and the board both went up into the air before it hit him on the backside and they hit the water together,” Elkins said. “All Chris said was ‘Oops.’ “

Dream scenario gone astray

Davis grew up a Rangers fan, cheering for Ivan Rodriguez and Will Clark. His spine tingled the first time he went to the ballpark in Arlington and the theme from “The Natural” blared after a homer by Mickey Tettleton. So it was a dream scenario for him to be drafted by Texas in the fifth round in 2006 after he played two years at Navarro Junior College.

The dream continued as he battered minor league pitching and emerged as one of the organization’s top prospects.