Ron and Kendall Davis talk about their son, Ike. (April...

Ron and Kendall Davis talk about their son, Ike. (April 20, 2010) Credit: David Pokress

No one knows Mets first baseman Ike Davis better than his father, Ron.

No one can relate to his son's struggles more than the former major league pitcher, once a Yankee, who blew a record-tying 14 save opportunities for Minnesota in 1984. He was tagged so often that Twins fans unlovingly referred to him as Ron "Boom Boom" Davis.

And no one is surer that Ike Davis ultimately will benefit from early-season woes that had him batting .191 with 62 strikeouts in as many games before Saturday night's contest against the visiting Cincinnati Reds.

"I guarantee you this will make him a better big-leaguer for the rest of his life," Ron said during a phone interview from Steamboat Springs, Colo., where he was coaching the Sidewinders, a traveling 13-and-under baseball team. "He never had to go through anything like this. And now he's going through it at the highest level, and he's coming out of it.

"When he does come out of it, he'll be able to figure out quicker and faster how to do it. I think this is going to make him a much better big-leaguer than maybe he should have been or would have been. I think it's going to make future years easier for him."

Ike began play Saturday night with a six-game hitting streak, producing nine hits in 16 at-bats during that span. He is being much more selective, with 12 walks through 14 games this month. It is almost as though he can hear his father whispering good advice in his ear.

"Whenever I'm really struggling," Ike said, "he's like, 'Hey, the guys on the mound get paid, too. You can't expect to get a hit every time. But you can expect to have good at-bats.' "

Ron compiled a 47-53 record with a 4.05 ERA and 130 saves in an 11-year career with the Yankees (1978-81), Twins (1982-86), Cubs (1986-87), Dodgers (1987) and Giants (1988).

Ron Davis could almost feel trouble coming for his son when spring training began because the Mets' 2008 first-round draft choice was limited to 36 games last season by a severe ankle injury and didn't play after mid-May.

"No excuse, but I thought this year might be a bit of a struggle," Ron said. "When you miss five months, it's hard to get that much rust off."

Mets manager Terry Collins has been unwavering in his support of Ike Davis, who showed considerable promise when he batted .264 with 19 home runs and 71 RBIs in 147 games in 2010 after being promoted from Triple-A Buffalo. He is impressed by the way he weathered a storm that appears to be lifting, and he gives some of the credit to his upbringing.

"I salute him. I'm sure his dad has helped him along the way with how to deal with adversity," Collins said, adding, "I'm sure his dad has told him, 'Maintain your poise, maintain your character.' ''

Collins noted that it makes it easier to stick with Ike because of his demeanor. He acts as though he belongs, as if he will get everything under control.

"If you were around Ike Davis three years ago, you knew he'd be a big-leaguer, just by the way he carried himself," the manager said.

Before suffering a concussion Friday night, outfielder Jason Bay -- no stranger to hitting droughts -- noted that Davis is unusually comfortable in his surroundings for a 25-year-old who has yet to play a full major-league season. He believes it reflects a father who has been there, done that.

"There is no better teacher than experience," Bay said. "To have that resource, there are guys in here who would not only like that but love that."

Ike Davis emphasizes, though, that he is like every other player working to establish himself. He must grow from mistakes. "Baseball is tough," he said. "Your dad can't give you everything. It's like life. You have experiences you have to go through yourself."

Ron feels helpless as he monitors at-bats on television or via his satellite radio. He often can be seen with a radio in his pocket and an earplug in place as he coaches the Sidewinders or oversees the Major League School of Baseball, which he owns and operates in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"You know what he's feeling," Ron said, "and you're feeling it as much as he is. And then some."

As Ron and Ike celebrate Father's Day miles apart, Ron does not measure success by hits or home runs. It is enough to know that one of his sons followed in his footsteps.

Said Ron, "I don't know if life can get any better.''

More Yankees headlines

YOU'VE BEEN SELECTED

FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.