Wednesday, January 9, 2019

#147 Dave Kingman

King Kong....stood 6’ 6”....few have ever swung a Louisville Slugger so hard....442 direct connections over a MLB fence....but a lot of misses too as evidenced by 1,816 strikeouts....twice a home run champion and three time strikeout leader (for a batter)....sometimes in the same season....never hit for a high average....when on his game expect ..270 to .290 BA....his story begins by signing the Giants after being on NCAA 1970 Champs USC....hit for power and average in minors....MLB debut July 30 1971 after driving in 99 runs in 104 games for PCL Phoenix....In his partial season hit .270 with 7 homers in 115 at bats...but his 35 strikeouts were a harbinger of things to come..... first full season made a name for himself with 29 homers and 140 strikeout....BA dropped to .225 which turned out to be the norm for his Giants days....Kingman hits 42 over the fence in next two seasons but has limited playing –being something of a liability in field and being unable to secure a steady position....change came via being sold to Mets in 1975....more playing results in 73 homers in next two years....1977 with a looming free agency Kingman is given the distinction of playing for 4 teams (the two NY, San Diego, and Angels; a team from each division, only person ever to do so)....hit at least one home run for every squad; the only person to do so....Signs with Cubs in what would turn out to be a three year stint....far and away his best batting average for any team; a healthy .278.....Cubbies days includes his best season circa 1979....lead NL with 48 home runs, slugging average....and strikeouts but 131 whiffs was decidedly low for him....took a return ticket to NY Mets with another three year run starting 1981....once again led NL in home run/strikeouts but hitting average was under his weight for his stay....after hitting .198 released in 1983....picked up by the Oakland A’ excellent comeback in 1984 nearing his 1979 output....35 home runs, 115 RBIs, .268 BA....held on as an A for two more years....racking up 100 home runs in his final 3 years....a feat few can claim....a couple of season given his finishing stride could have reached 500 home run....his one dimension play most likely would have kept him from HOF.....also hampered by the fact he was on losing teams most of his career, with only one post season coming in rookie year of 1971.  


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