“We’d go out on a Friday night, have a good time, a couple of beers, and there was Joe up in his room, watching baseball on YouTube, recording himself calling the game,” said Rick Krajewski, a college friend who now works in the Booth with Davis. “We’d be like, ‘Hey, Joe, come on, Let’s do something fun.’ And it was: ‘Quick, sorry guys, gotta do this.'”
Before his senior year, Davis landed a summer job at the microphone of the independent Schaumburg Flyers in Illinois. After graduating in 2010, he worked three seasons as the voice of the Montgomery Biscuits, the Class AA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. After games, he would listen to his broadcasts and transcribe some parts; studying his words made him more concise.
By then, Davis had a network of colleagues to advise him — if only they could think of something to say. Joe Block, now a broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Pirates, was working in the minors and running a website for job postings when he first heard Davis’s work. The kid was a can’t-miss prospect.
“It was ridiculous, just so polished and so good,” Block said. “The résumé said he was 19 years old, and we were amazed. We got in touch and I said, ‘I’ve got nothing for you, please remember me,’ something like that.”
Davis moved to ESPN in 2012 and to Fox two years later, adding a role with the Dodgers in 2015 and developing a rapport with former pitcher Orel Hershiser, his regular partner on their telecasts. Along the way, Davis met Buck, who offered perspective on their profession: “If you get hit by a bus on your way to the stadium, they’re not going to hold a moment of silence for you.” Take the job seriously, in other words, but don’t carry yourself that way.