Before he makes his first trip to Baltimore as the newest member of the Orioles, Glenn Davis will be getting a thorough scouting report from Storm Davis.
"The most important thing is I want to make sure the transition is easy for his family, because on the field will be easy for him," says Storm Davis, who pitched for the Orioles from 1982-86. "I'll try to help his wife, Teresa, with places to live and doctors and that kind of thing."
Storm and Glenn, both 29, aren't related, they just have the same last name. They consider each other brothers, though Glenn was never formally adopted by Storm's family. Their story goes back to their high school days in Jacksonville, Fla., where they played baseball together at University Christian High.
Their assistant baseball coach was George Davis Sr., Storm's father. Glenn started hanging around Storm's house in his sophomore year at school. Glenn came from a broken home -- his parents were divorced when he was a toddler, and his mother was trying to raise three children by herself. Looking back, George Davis says Glenn was starved for the family cohesiveness he saw in Storm's life.
"He wanted that family unity that he didn't have," says George, who is now athletic director at the new Southern Christian University in Jacksonville.
Glenn started coming over to the house his sophomore year, sometimes staying for dinner. He lived on the north side of Jacksonville; Storm's family lived on the south side, about 15 miles away. Sometimes Glenn took the bus. He never really said how he got there other times.
The Davises never legally adopted Glenn, although once, after Glenn's freshman year in college, Glenn suggested it.
"I said, 'You better think about it. Think about your parents and two sisters,' " says George Davis. Glenn never brought up the subject again. By then, he had virtually moved in with the Davises.
"Glenn was not a disruptive student, but he and the guys he hung around with in his neighborhood got into some mischievous stuff," says George Davis. "He was borderline trouble, a tough kid. Given the opportunity, he would fight in a heartbeat."
In Glenn's senior year in high school, his mother got angry at George Davis. "She and Glenn were really bumping heads," says George. "She came to me and wanted me to make Glenn stop playing ball, because he wouldn't do what she wanted him to do. I refused and told her he could possibly make a living playing ball. She also wanted him to go to a college that didn't have baseball."
Storm Davis signed with the Orioles right out of high school in 1979. George Davis took Storm to the club's rookie camp in Bluefield, W.Va., that year, and Glenn went along for the ride. The Orioles wound up drafting Glenn as a pitcher, but he didn't want to pitch. Also, George Davis suggested he turn down the offer.
"If you get hurt, they'll cut you in a heartbeat," George told Glenn. "Go to college instead."
Glenn went to Georgia, had an impressive freshman year, then transferred to Manatee Junior College in Bradenton, Fla. He signed with the Houston Astros in 1981.
"Tom Giordano [then the Orioles' director of player development] always said he could kick his butt for not signing Glenn," says George Davis.
Curiously, though Glenn visited Storm's house often in high school, the two boys weren't best friends then. "In a way, Glenn was jealous of Storm," George Davis says.
"There were a lot of guys in school, not just me, that Glenn felt he had to compete against," Storm says.
Now Glenn and Storm get their families together during the offseason. "I don't know if age mellows you, or what," Storm says. "When Glenn became a Christian, his life became more prioritized. We're both very family-oriented." Glenn and Teresa have two daughters, ages 2 1/2 and 4. Storm and his wife, Angie, have two sons and a daughter.
Now Storm, with Kansas City, and Glenn are together in the American League for the first time. They've only faced each other once before, when Storm was struggling with control in his brief stay with San Diego in 1987 and Glenn was at Houston.
"I walked him the first time and hit him the second time," Storm says, laughing. "Strictly not on purpose.
"Playing against him four times a year will be fun, but athlete to athlete it'll be difficult," Storm says. "I'm sure he'll either bat before or after Cal [Ripken], and as a pitcher in the American League, that's going to be tough on me.
"I'm just tickled he's with Baltimore. I can't think of a better place to live or to play . . . Angie and I brought the kids to Baltimore to see friends last year, and now we have an extra incentive to come."