Dave Kingman Stats & Facts
Positions: Leftfielder, First Baseman and Third Baseman
Bats: Right • Throws: Right
6-6, 210lb (198cm, 95kg)
Born: December 21, 1948 (Age: 71-330d) in Pendleton, OR
Draft: Drafted by the California Angels in the 2nd round of the 1967 MLB June Amateur Draft from Prospect HS (Mount Prospect, IL), the Baltimore Orioles in the 1st round (9th) of the 1968 MLB January Draft-Secondary Phase and the San Francisco Giants in the 1st round (1st) of the 1970 MLB June Draft-Secondary Phase from University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA).
High School: Prospect HS (Mount Prospect, IL)
Schools: William Rainey Harper College (Palatine, IL), University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
Debut: July 30, 1971 (Age 22-221d, 10,770th in MLB history)
vs. PIT 1 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB
Last Game: October 5, 1986 (Age 37-288d)
vs. KCR 4 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB
Full Name: David Arthur Kingman
Nicknames: Kong or Sky King
For his career, Dave Kingman went deep once every 15.1 at-bats, the fifth-best mark in MLB history at the time of his “retirement.” The 6-foot-6-inch, 210-pounder hit 442 long balls, going yard in 25 different parks over parts of 16 big league seasons. Though undoubtedly one of the most exciting and prolific home run hitters of all-time, “King Kong” was equally well-known for his struggles: low batting averages, meager walk totals, and strikeouts galore. At Wrigley Field, however, he could do no wrong. Touted as another Willie Mays in his youth, Kingman did his best to live up to the praise in 1979. That year, the Cubs’ left fielder hit .288 while pacing the circuit in homers (48), slugging percentage (.613), and OPS (.956). All told, Kingman slashed .297/.360/.608 with 69 home runs and 207 RBI in 241 career games on the North Side.
In April 1976, Kingman – then with the Mets – clouted one of the longest home runs in Wrigley Field history. The epic drive traveled an estimated 530-feet over Waveland Avenue, before smashing into the side of a house occupied by Naomi Martinez, who was watching Kingman round the bases on her television. Of course, this was just one of many tape-measure jobs hit by Kingman over the years. He slugged more homers at Shea Stadium (88) than anywhere else, including a 515-foot shot thought to be the longest ever hit in Flushing. At Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, “Kong” became just the fourth man to homer into the second deck in left field. With his stunningly unique stats and mercurial personality, it’s only fitting that Kingman hit some of the strangest (and most impressive) “non-homers” in baseball history as well.
Noted for hitting towering fly balls that looked as if they might pierce the heavens, “Sky King” had a tough go of it in domed stadiums. In 1984, he hit a ball that went through a hole in the roof of the Metrodome; it was ruled a double. At Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, Kingman hit a drive that struck the technical ring that surrounded the park on the inside of the roof. It was ruled foul, but without markings on the roof, no one could be sure. (Later, an orange line was painted on the ring, allowing a similar Darryl Strawberry drive to be ruled fair.) In 1985, he hit a ball off a left-field speaker that was caught for an out in Seattle; it would’ve been a 500-plus foot blast in most parks. Kingman couldn’t complain; he hit .291 with 12 homers and 28 RBI in only 19 career games at the Kingdome!
Notable Events and Chronology for Dave Kingman Career
The Angels acquire slugger Dave Kingman from San Diego for cash consideration. Nine days later, the Yankees will buy Kingman, making him the first player to wear four uniforms in four divisions in the same year. Kingman, who started the season with the Mets, will hit 26 home runs to set the mark for the most by a player with more than two teams.
Dave Kingman’s home run, a monstrous blast estimated to have travelled 515 feet, is, and will remain, the longest round-tripper ever hit in the 44-year history of Shea Stadium. Kong’s tape-measure home run, a solo shot over the left-center wall, comes in the fourth inning off Larry Christenson in the Mets’ 8-4 loss to Philadelphia.
Join the Community
Subscribe to our Podcast
The Daily Rewind
on Apples Podcast | Spotify | Google | Stitcher
And connect with us wherever else you listen to Podcast and hangout!