CLEVELAND: The Indians on Monday presented Rajai Davis, in town as a member of the Oakland Athletics, with his 2016 American League Championship ring. The club also displayed a video tribute to Davis on the scoreboard prior to the game.

Davis played well in his one year with the Indians and belted one of the biggest home runs in franchise history, a two-run, game-tying blast in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the World Series against Chicago Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman that sent Progressive Field into bedlam.

That home run will forever endear him to Indians fans — Davis received a nice ovation on Monday prior to his first at-bat.

“I definitely have a story to tell for the rest of my life to my kids, my family,” Davis said. “It’s something I want to inject to my son, who is almost 2 and sleeps with his bat. It’s pretty special.”

It’s safe to say he’s watched the replay a few times.

“I can’t even count. Even if I told you, I would be embarrassed,” Davis said, laughing. “Because I gotta show Jordan Michael. That’s my son. He has to see it. A lot of times, when we need the entertainment at the table, he wants to watch baseball, so we show him daddy’s baseball.”

That home run helped to push the Cubs into extra innings in Game 7 of the World Series — the biggest stage in baseball. The Indians had a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t and, after a rain delay, eventually lost 8-7 in 10 innings. They were close — so close.

Monday was Davis’ first time back in Progressive Field since that night. He hasn’t yet escaped it.

“I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over that,” Davis said. “I continue to think about that night. It’s something I suppose that keeps me going now, that moment of doing something that special at the highest level against the best players in the league on the biggest stage of the World Series. It’s something that I always want to remember. It helps my morale and it helps the positive outlook.”

For Indians manager Terry Francona, it was certainly one of the biggest moments he’s been a part of in baseball. He still has Dave Roberts’ stolen base against the New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS — the signature play that led to the Red Sox coming back from a 3-0 deficit to win the ALCS and then the World Series title — as being at the top of his list.

Francona expected a warm reception for Davis during a special moment in which Francona, president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti and General Manger Mike Chernoff all were on the field to present Davis with his ring. But once that moment passed, Francona joked about how Davis now wears an opposing team’s uniform.

“I hope whoever’s here will give him a really nice welcome back,” Francona said. “And then I hope he strikes out four times.”

Memorial Day

Across baseball, teams observed a moment of silence on Monday in recognition of Memorial Day and all those who have perished serving the country. Each team also wore special jerseys and caps during the holiday weekend.

Francona spoke on Monday to the significance of Memorial Day.

“We probably don’t think about it enough,” Francona said. “We get so tunnel-visioned on what we’re doing, who we’re playing. It is a good reminder that you ask or we talk about it. I think we probably — like everybody — take for granted what we have. There’s a lot of people that have made so many sacrifices, and still are, so that we can do whatever we want, whether it’s play baseball or be a writer or announcer, whatever. I think we need to remember how lucky we are. I think it’s a day and age where it’s so easy to complain about stuff, whether it’s politics or your view on something. At least you’re allowed to have your view. There are a lot of places where you can’t do that. We’re pretty fortunate and there’s people that have served, that’s a big reason why.”

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ.