David Arthur Kingman (born December 21, 1948), nicknamed "King Kong" and "Sky King", is a former Major League Baseball left fielder, first baseman, third baseman, and designated hitter who was a 3 time MLB All-Star with 442 career home runs and 1,210 RBI in 16 seasons. In his career, Kingman averaged a home run every 15.11 at bats, tied for 14th best all-time.
The 6' 6" Kingman was a power hitter, who twice led the National League in home runs. Known for his long home runs, Kingman hit one measured at over 530 feet. Kingman struck out frequently, and posted a low batting average and on-base percentage. His 1,816 strikeouts was the fourth-highest total in MLB history at the time of his retirement. As a result of the increase in frequency of strikeouts in the intervening period, he currently ranks eighteenth as of January 2019. Kingman finished in the top 25 voting for National League Most Valuable Player four times (1972, 1975, 1976, and 1979) and American League Most Valuable Player once (1984).
Kingman in 1979 while with the Cubs.
|Left fielder / First baseman / Designated hitter|
|Born: December 21, 1948|
|July 30, 1971, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 5, 1986, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Runs batted in||1,210|
|Career highlights and awards|
Born in Pendleton, Oregon in 1948, Kingman moved with his family to Denver, Colorado in 1951, to Los Angeles, California in 1954 and finally to Mount Prospect, Illinois, as Kingman's father worked for United Airlines and moved the family as needed for his career. Kingman attended Prospect High School, where he was a center and a forward on the basketball team, being named All-Area, a wide receiver and safety on the football team, and a star pitcher on the baseball team. Kingman threw a no-hitter against Niles North High School on April 6, 1967. In his final high school game, he hit four home runs and pitched a two hit shutout.
He was drafted by the California Angels out of high school in the second round of the 1967 Major League Baseball draft, and by the Baltimore Orioles in the first round of the 1968 draft, but chose, instead, to attend the University of Southern California (USC) to play college baseball for the USC Trojans under coach Rod Dedeaux, after a year at Harper Junior College in Palatine, Illinois. Kingman began as a pitcher before being converted to an outfielder.
In 1969, Kingman had a 11–4 win–loss record with a 1.38 earned run average (ERA) and batted .250 with four home runs and 16 runs batted in (RBIs) as a part-time hitter for USC. In the 1970 USC NCAA Championship Season, Kingman hit .355 with nine home runs and 25 RBIs, exclusively as a hitter, despite missing time mid-season due to injury.
In 1970, Kingman was named an All-American and led the Trojans to the College World Series championship, along with teammates, pitchers Steve Busby, Jim Barr and Brent Strom. Kingman was then selected by the San Francisco Giants with the first pick of the 1970 secondary phase draft.
After signing with the Giants, Kingman played for the Class AA Amarillo Giants in 1970 after the College World Series victory. He hit .295 with 15 home runs and 45 RBIs in 60 games. Moving to the Class AAA Phoenix Giants in 1971, he hit .278 with 26 home runs and 99 RBIs in 105 games before being called up by the San Francisco Giants.
Kingman came up as an outfielder and first baseman with the San Francisco Giants. He made his major league debut on July 30, 1971, pinch running for Willie McCovey, and finishing the game at first base. He hit a home run in his next game, a grand slam, and hit two more a day later. He finished his rookie season with a .278 average with 6 home runs and 24 RBI in 41 games.
On April 16, 1972, the second day of the season, Kingman hit for the cycle in the Giants' 10–6 victory over the Houston Astros. A day earlier, he made his debut at third base, a position he would play off and on for the remainder of his Giants career. Kingman also made his major league debut on the mound with the Giants, pitching two innings of "mop up duty" in an 11–0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on April 15, 1973. He pitched again in the mop up role on May 13 in a 15–3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In both games, he pitched the final two innings and gave up two earned runs.
In four seasons and 409 games with the Giants, Kingman hit .224 with 77 home runs and 217 RBI.
On February 28, 1975, Kingman was purchased by the New York Mets from the San Francisco Giants for $150,000.
Kingman played twelve games at third with the Mets; however, the Mets eventually abandoned the idea of Kingman as a third baseman and kept him primarily in the outfield. He emerged as a slugger upon his arrival in New York City, setting a club record with 36 home runs in 1975. He also scored 65 runs, the highest percentage of runs scored on homers for anyone that hit more than 30 in a season. A year later, he broke his own record with 37 homers, and was elected to start in right field for the 1976 National League All-Star team.
On June 4, 1976, Kingman hit three home runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Mets' 11–0 victory (the first of five times Kingman accomplished this feat in his major league career and the second in Mets franchise history).
Kingman was batting .209 with nine home runs when he became one of the three players traded in the infamous "Midnight Massacre" by the New York Mets. On June 15, 1977, the Mets traded Kingman to the San Diego Padres for minor league pitcher Paul Siebert and Bobby Valentine; Tom Seaver was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and Dan Norman; and Mike Phillips was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Joel Youngblood.
Kingman was waived by the Padres on September 6, 1977 and immediately claimed by the California Angels.
On September 15, Kingman became one of only a handful of players to play for four major league teams in the same season (and the only one to play in each division in baseball in a single year since the establishment of divisional play in 1969) when he was traded by the Angels to the New York Yankees, for Randy Stein and cash. Although Kingman's four home runs and seven RBI in eight games helped propel the Yankees into the post-season over the second place Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, he could not participate in the team's push to a World Series crown as he was added to the roster after the August 31 cutoff date for postseason eligibility.
Overall, Kingman hit .221 with 26 home runs and 78 RBI in 132 games for the four teams in 1977.
In 1978, Kingman hit .266 with 28 home runs and 78 RBI in 119 games with the Cubs.
Kingman had an excellent performance in Los Angeles on May 14, 1978, when he again hit three home runs against the Dodgers, including a three run shot in the top of the 15th inning that gave the Cubs a 10–7 victory. Eight of the Cubs' ten runs were driven in by Kingman. Following the game, radio reporter Paul Olden asked Dodgers' manager Tommy Lasorda his opinion of Kingman's performance that day, inspiring an oft-replayed (and censored) obscenity-laced tirade.
The best season of Kingman's career came with the Cubs in 1979. Kingman batted .288 with a National League-leading 48 homers, as well as 115 runs batted in (second to San Diego's Dave Winfield's 118) and 97 runs scored. He hit three home runs in a game twice that season, both coming in Cubs losses. The first was a slugging duel with Mike Schmidt on May 17 at Wrigley Field; Kingman hit three home runs and drove in 6 while Schmidt hit two in the game, with Schmidt delivering his second in the top of the tenth inning to give the Phillies a 23–22 victory. Kingman's third home run during this game is likely the longest home run of his career, and believed to be the longest in the history of Wrigley Field. There is a street called Kenmore Avenue that T's into Waveland Avenue behind left-center field. Kenmore is lined with houses, and the ball Kingman launched landed on the third porch roof on the east side of Kenmore, a shot estimated at 550 feet.
His .613 slugging percentage in 1978 was almost 50 points higher than that of his next closest National League competition, Mike Schmidt. Kingman finished eleventh in NL MVP balloting that year and led the league in strikeouts for the first time in his career (131).
In 1980, Kingman (whose personality former Mets teammate John Stearns had once compared to a tree trunk) dumped a bucket of ice water on Daily Herald reporter Don Friske's head late in spring training. Kingman regularly insisted he was misquoted, and he began appearing regularly in the Chicago Tribune, as the nominal author of a column ghostwritten by Chicago Park District employee Gerald Pfeiffer. Mike Royko, then writing for the rival Chicago Sun-Times, parodied Kingman's column with a series using the byline "Dave Dingdong."
The Cubs held a Dave Kingman T-shirt Day promotion in conjunction with its game with the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 7, but Kingman instead spent the afternoon at Navy Pier promoting Kawasaki Jet Skis at ChicagoFest.
Injured, Kingman played in 81 games in 1980, hitting .278 with 18 home runs and 57 RBI.
Overall, in his three seasons with the Cubs, Kingman hit .278 with 94 home runs and 251 RBI and a .907 OPS in 345 games.
In January 1980, the Payson heirs sold the Mets franchise to the Doubleday publishing company for $21.1 million. Nelson Doubleday, Jr. was named chairman of the board while minority shareholder Fred Wilpon took the role of club president. On February 28, 1981, the Mets reacquired Kingman from the Cubs for Steve Henderson and cash. In separate deals, the new organization also reacquired Rusty Staub, and two seasons later, Tom Seaver.
Kingman primarily played first base upon his return to the Mets in 1981, and exclusively there his second season back in New York. In 1982, he tied his own Mets' single-season home run record while hitting .204, the lowest batting average for a first baseman with enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. Leading the league in home runs that year, it is also the lowest batting average for any season's home run leader. Additionally, he accomplished the dubious feat of leading the league in home runs while having a lower batting average than the Cy Young Award winner, (Steve Carlton, .218).
Kingman led the NL in strike outs both of his first two seasons in New York (105 in 1981 & 156 in 1982). On June 15, 1983, the sixth anniversary of the Midnight Massacre, the Mets acquired first baseman Keith Hernandez from the St. Louis Cardinals for pitchers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey. Kingman remained with the team for the remainder of the season in a limited role. He was released at the end of the season, and signed as a free agent with the Oakland Athletics.
In six total seasons with the Mets, Kingman hit .219 with 154 home runs and 389 RBI in 664 games.
On April 16, 1984, Kingman collected his fifth and final 3-homer game, in a 9–6 win over the Seattle Mariners. Kingman made just nine appearances at first base in 1984, and was the A's regular designated hitter the remainder of the time. For the 1984 season, Kingman hit .268 with 35 home runs and 118 RBI. He was named the American League's Comeback Player of the Year, and finished 13th in MVP balloting.
In three seasons as a DH in Oakland, he collected at least 30 home runs and 90 RBIs in each season. He also had two at-bats in this period which did not result in home runs, but nonetheless were noteworthy: in the Metrodome against the Minnesota Twins, on May 4, 1984, he hit a pop-up that flew into a hole in the roof and got stuck for a ground rule double. In a game in Seattle on April 11, 1985, he hit a hard drive to left field which struck a speaker hanging from the roof of the Kingdome, bounced back and was caught for an out.
During his final year in Oakland in 1986, Kingman sent a live rat in a pink box to Sue Fornoff, a sportswriter for The Sacramento Bee. The rat had a tag attached to it that read, "My name is Sue." Fornoff claimed that Kingman had told her that women do not belong in the clubhouse, and that he harassed her several times since she began covering the team the year before. Kingman himself said it was intended as a harmless practical joke. The A's fined Kingman $3,500 and warned that he would be released if a similar incident occurred again.
When Kingman's contract expired the 1986 season, Oakland did not renew his contract and he became a free agent. Oakland signed former A and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson to play his final season as the team's designated hitter for the 1987 season, playing alongside Jose Canseco and rookie Mark McGwire.
Overall, in his career, Kingman hit .236 with 442 home runs and 1210 RBI. He had an .302 OB%, a 780 OPS with 608 walks and 1816 strikeouts in 1941 career games. Kingman averaged a home run every 15.11 at bats, tied with Juan González for 14th best all-time.
On July 11, 1987, Kingman signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants during the 1987 season. After twenty games at AAA Phoenix in which he batted .203 with two home runs and 11 RBI, he retired from baseball.
In 1989, Kingman played for the West Palm Beach Tropics of the Senior Professional Baseball Association, alongside other former major league players. He hit .271 with 8 HR and 40 RBI, as the Tropics had the best record in the Senior League. The league folded in 1990.
In 1992, his first year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame, he appeared on just three ballots, excluding him from future Baseball Writers' Association of America voting. He was the first player to hit 400 or more home runs without being eventually inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The 1970 USC Trojans baseball team represented the University of Southern California in the 1970 NCAA University Division baseball season. The team was coached Rod Dedeaux in his 29th season.
The Trojans won the College World Series, defeating the Florida State Seminoles in the championship game, starting a run of five consecutive national championships for USC.1971 San Francisco Giants season
The 1971 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 89th year in Major League Baseball, their 14th year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 12th at Candlestick Park. The team finished in first place in the National League West with a 90–72 record. The Giants faced the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1971 National League Championship Series, losing three games to one.1974 San Francisco Giants season
The 1974 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 92nd season in Major League Baseball, their 17th season in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 15th at Candlestick Park. The team finished in fifth place in the National League West with a 72–90 record, 30 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.1975 New York Mets season
The 1975 New York Mets season was the 14th regular season for the Mets, who played their home games at Shea Stadium. Initially led by manager Yogi Berra followed by Roy McMillan, the team had an 82–80 record and finished in third-place in the National League's Eastern Division.1977 New York Mets season
The 1977 New York Mets season was the 16th regular season for the Mets, who played home games at Shea Stadium. Initially led by manager Joe Frazier followed by Joe Torre, the team had a 64–98 record and finished in last place for the first time since 1967, and for the first time since divisional play was introduced in 1969.1977 San Diego Padres season
The 1977 San Diego Padres season was the 9th season in franchise history.1977 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1977 throughout the world.1980 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1980 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 51st midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 8, 1980, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League. The game resulted in a 4-2 victory for the NL.
While this would mark the second time that the Dodgers had hosted the All-Star Game in Los Angeles, it was the first time that the game was being held at Dodger Stadium. Their first time as host in 1959 saw the game played at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; the Dodgers' Los Angeles home field until the construction of Dodger Stadium.
This All-Star Game would be known for some exemplary pitching performances, most notably AL starter Steve Stone's (three perfect innings, three strikeouts). Jerry Reuss struck out the side for the NL in the sixth, as well.
It would also be one of the final games for NL starter J. R. Richard. Richard was diagnosed with a career-ending stroke weeks later.
The pregame ceremonies of the All-Star Game featured Disney characters. Later, Edwards Air Force Base of Rosamond, California, provided both the colors presentation and, after the Los Angeles All-City Band performed the Canadian and U.S. National Anthems, the flyover ceremonies. This All-Star Game marked the first nationally televised US performance of O Canada after it had officially been designated the Canadian National Anthem eight days earlier on July 1, 1980. It also marked the debut of the modern-day large-scale video screen, with the first such video scoreboard, Diamond Vision by Mitsubishi Electric, being introduced at this game.1985 Oakland Athletics season
The Oakland Athletics' 1985 season involved the A's finishing 4th in the American League West with a record of 77 wins and 85 losses. While the Athletics' on-field performance continued to disappoint, the debut of slugger Jose Canseco gave fans a measure of hope.1986 Oakland Athletics season
The Oakland Athletics' 1986 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the A's finishing 3rd in the American League West with a record of 76 wins and 86 losses.Baseball's Greatest Hits
Baseball's Greatest Hits is the name of two different CD collections of songs and other recordings connected with baseball, released in 1989.
The eclectic collections include vintage songs such as Les Brown's "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio" from 1941, Teresa Brewer's 1956 number "I Love Mickey" (with a cameo by Mickey Mantle himself), and Danny Kaye's humorous 1962 recording about the Los Angeles Dodgers. Spoken entries include verbiage such as Russ Hodges' call of Bobby Thomson's pennant-winning home run in 1951, Tommy Lasorda's rant about Dave Kingman, and the Abbott and Costello classic, "Who's on First?".
However, due to licensing restrictions. Rhino was unable to include "Centerfield" by John Fogerty.Jim Barr
James Leland Barr (born February 10, 1948) is a former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the San Francisco Giants (1971–1978, 1982–1983) and California Angels (1979–1980). He is perhaps best known for setting a record for consecutive batters retired (41, later tied by Bobby Jenks in 2007, and then broken by Mark Buehrle on July 28, 2009 and again by Yusmeiro Petit on August 28, 2014). Barr remains the only pitcher to retire as many as 41 consecutive batters in the course of only two games; his streak began in the third inning of a complete-game win and extended through the seventh inning of another complete-game win (Beurhle's streak included his perfect game and the starts before and after, while the streaks of Jenks and Petit included a number of relief appearances).
Barr attended the University of Southern California (USC), where his teammates included Dave Kingman, and helped lead their baseball team to a pair of NCAA championships in 1968 and 1970. He graduated from USC in 1970 with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. After previously being drafted five times (by the California Angels, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Minnesota Twins), he was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the third round of the 1970 amateur draft (Secondary Phase) and signed with the club that summer.
The Giants called Barr up from the minors midway through the 1971 season, and he posted a 1-1 record and a 3.57 ERA in 17 appearances out of the bullpen. He joined the team's rotation in the middle of 1972 and, despite never pitching a no-hitter or perfect game, that summer set the record for consecutive batters retired. Over the course of two starts, on August 23 and August 29, he retired 41 players in a row. On August 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he walked opposing pitcher Bob Moose to lead off the third inning and then retired the final 21 batters to end the game with a 2-hitter. In his next start, he retired the first 20 St. Louis Cardinals in order before Bernie Carbo earned a seventh-inning double. He won that game too, with a complete game 3-hitter.
Barr went on to win at least ten games for the Giants in five straight seasons, from 1973 to 1977. During that time, he finished in the National League's top ten three times for earned run average and shutouts, twice for complete games and innings pitched, and led the league in 1974 with 1.76 BB/9IP. Following the 1978 campaign, he became a free agent and signed with the California Angels.
After winning 10 games in his first year with the Angels, Barr struggled with arm injuries in 1980 and was released prior to the 1981 season. He then signed with the Chicago White Sox and played part of the year for their Edmonton Trappers farm club before being let go again. He made a big league comeback with the Giants in 1982 and appeared in 53 games in both that season and the next.
Since ending his playing days, Barr was the pitching coach at Sacramento State University for 16 years. He currently lives with his wife, Susie, in Granite Bay, California.
Barr's athletic predisposition has been passed on to his daughters, Betsy and Emmy. Both have played soccer collegiately and professionally. Betsy played soccer at the University of Portland and was a member of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) after being drafted by the San Jose CyberRays in 2003. Emmy went to Santa Clara University and played three seasons with the Washington Freedom of the WUSA. Additionally, his brother, Mark Barr, pitched in the Boston Red Sox farm system for several years in the 1970s.John Jaha
John Emil Jaha (born May 27, 1966) is a former first baseman in Major League Baseball who had a 10-year career from 1992 to 2001. He played for the Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland Athletics, playing in both the American League and National League. He was elected to the American League All-Star team in 1999.
Jaha graduated from David Douglas High School in Portland, Oregon in 1984. He still holds most offensive baseball records for the school.
Jaha was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1984 and made his Major League debut with the Brewers on July 9, 1992. He also had success playing with the Daikyo Dolphins in the Australian Baseball League in 1991 and 1992 alongside Brewers and 1999 All-Star teammate, Dave Nilsson. Earlier in 1992, while playing for Brewers Triple-A affiliate Denver, Jaha became only the second player (after Joey Meyer) to hit a ball into the upper deck at Mile High Stadium.
After an injury-plagued Major League career with the Brewers, Jaha signed a minor-league contract with the Oakland Athletics in 1999. Although Jaha wasn't expected to make the team - in fact, he was left out of the team's media guide that spring - he turned in a remarkable comeback season. Earning his first All-Star berth along the way, he finished the season with 35 home runs (tying Dave Kingman for most by an Oakland designated hitter) and 111 RBIs and was named the American League Comeback Player of the Year.
It was his last season of significant productivity. Jaha played in just 33 games in 2000, fewer the following year. A popular figure in the Oakland Athletics clubhouse, he drew a standing ovation from his A's teammates when he announced his retirement on June 30, 2001. Jaha is of Syrian and Lebanese descent.List of Major League Baseball annual home run leaders
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit so far that the batter is able to circle all the bases ending at home plate, scoring himself plus any runners already on base, with no errors by the defensive team on the play. An automatic home run is achieved by hitting the ball on the fly over the outfield fence in fair territory. More rarely, an inside-the-park home run occurs when the hitter reaches home plate while the baseball remains in play on the field. In Major League Baseball (MLB), a player in each league wins the home run title each season by hitting the most home runs that year. Only home runs hit in a particular league count towards that league's seasonal lead. Mark McGwire, for example, hit 58 home runs in 1997, more than any other player that year. However, McGwire was traded from the American League's (AL) Oakland Athletics to the National League's (NL) St. Louis Cardinals midway through the season and his individual AL and NL home run totals (34 and 24, respectively) did not qualify to lead either league.The first home run champion in the National League was George Hall. In the league's inaugural 1876 season, Hall hit five home runs for the short-lived National League Philadelphia Athletics. In 1901, the American League was established and Hall of Fame second baseman Nap Lajoie led it with 14 home runs for the American League Philadelphia Athletics. Over the course of his 22-season career, Babe Ruth led the American League in home runs 12 times. Mike Schmidt and Ralph Kiner have the second and third most home run titles respectively, Schmidt with eight and Kiner with seven, all won in the National League. Kiner's seven consecutive titles from 1946 to 1952 are also the most consecutive home run titles by any player.
Ruth set the Major League Baseball single-season home run record four times, first at 29 (1919), then 54 (1920), 59 (1921), and finally 60 (1927). Ruth's 1920 and 1921 seasons are tied for the widest margin of victory for a home run champion as he topped the next highest total by 35 home runs in each season. The single season mark of 60 stood for 34 years until Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961. Maris' mark was broken 37 years later by both Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa during the 1998 home run record chase, with McGwire ultimately setting the mark at 70. Barry Bonds, who also has the most career home runs, set the current single season record of 73 in 2001. The 1998 and 2001 seasons each had 4 players hit 50 or more home runs – Greg Vaughn, Ken Griffey, Jr., Sosa, and McGwire in 1998 and Alex Rodriguez, Luis Gonzalez, Sosa, and Bonds in 2001. A player has hit 50 or more home runs 42 times, 25 times since 1990. The lowest home run total to lead a major league was four, recorded in the NL by Lip Pike in 1877 and Paul Hines in 1878.Paul Siebert
Paul Edward Siebert (born June 5, 1953) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He pitched parts of five seasons in the majors, from 1974 until 1978. Paul's father was former major league first baseman Dick Siebert.
Siebert was selected in the 3rd round (58th overall) of the 1971 amateur entry draft by the Houston Astros. He made his major league baseball debut with the Astros in 1974, and was traded to the San Diego Padres before the 1977 season.
Siebert was part of the infamous "Saturday Night Massacre" in New York. On June 15, 1977, the Mets traded Dave Kingman to the San Diego Padres for Siebert and Bobby Valentine, sent Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds for Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and Dan Norman, and Mike Phillips to the St. Louis Cardinals for Joel Youngblood. Siebert split the rest of that year as well as 1978 between the Mets and the minor league Tidewater Tides.
Siebert was traded to the Cardinals after the 1978 season, but was released at the end of spring training in 1979. He signed with the Montreal Expos, playing for the Denver Bears in 1979 before retiring.Senior Professional Baseball Association
The Senior Professional Baseball Association, referred to commonly as the Senior League, was a winter baseball league based in Florida for players age 35 and over, with a minimum age of 32 for catchers. The league began play in 1989 and had eight teams in two divisions and a 72-game schedule. Pitchers Rollie Fingers, Ferguson Jenkins (both future Hall of Famers), and Vida Blue, outfielder Dave Kingman, and managers Earl Weaver and Dick Williams were the league's marquee names; and former big league outfielder Curt Flood was the circuit's first Commissioner. At age 54, Ed Rakow was the league's oldest player.Steve Davis (infielder)
Steven Michael Davis (born December 30, 1953) was a right-handed infielder in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs.
Davis was drafted by the Cubs at age 21, in the 14th round of the 1976 June amateur draft, out of Stanford University. He did not make his professional debut until 1978, when the Cubs assigned him to AAA Wichita. He played the entirety of the 1978 and 1979 Syracuse seasons and earned a late season call-up to the Cubs in 1979. Davis made his major league debut as a defensive replacement for Mick Kelleher in the ninth inning of 6-0 Cubs loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 23. He had an assist on a groundout but did not bat.
On September 25, Davis got the only at-bats of his major league career, playing the entire second game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets at third base. In his first at-bat, he grounded out, but Dave Kingman scored on the play, earning Davis the only RBI of his career. He ended up 0-for-4 on the day. Davis made one more appearance on September 30, but only appeared in the field as a second baseman.
Davis signed with the Toronto Blue Jays organization in the off-season and spent the 1980 and 1981 seasons with the Syracuse Chiefs before retiring from baseball.Tony Solaita
Tolia "Tony" Solaita (January 15, 1947 – February 10, 1990) was a Major League Baseball player for the New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals, California Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, and Montreal Expos between 1968 and 1979. He also played four seasons in Japan for the Nippon-Ham Fighters from 1980 to 1983.
As of 2015, Solaita is the only Major League Baseball player to have hailed from American Samoa. Pitcher Mike Fetters and outfielder Benny Agbayani are Hawaiian-born players of half-Samoan ancestry, while outfielder Chris Aguila is also partially Samoan and was born in California.
Solaita had been a prolific home run hitter in the minor leagues, hitting 49 home runs in 1968 for High Point-Thomasville, but was mostly relegated to a backup position during his Major League playing days. In 1975, while playing for the Royals, he hit 16 home runs in 231 at-bats, second to only Dave Kingman in home run to at-bat ratio.
After becoming a free agent following the 1979 season, Solaita, opted for a four-year contract in the Japanese League, where he was designated hitter for the Nippon-Ham Fighters and averaged nearly 40 home runs a year. Solaita retired after the 1983 season.
He was murdered in Tafuna, American Samoa on February 10, 1990. He was shot in a dispute over a land transaction.West Palm Beach Tropics
The West Palm Beach Tropics were one of the eight original franchises that began play in the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989. The club hired Dick Williams as manager and fielded a lineup that included slugger Dave Kingman and Rollie Fingers. The Tropics went 52-20 in the regular season and ran away with the Southern Division title. Ron Washington led the club's offense, hitting .359 with a league-high 73 RBI. Mickey Rivers hit .366 and Kingman added 8 homers. The pitching staff was led by Juan Eichelberger, who went 11-5 with a 2.90 ERA. Tim Stoddard also won 10 games for the club.
Local Valentino Falcone (a former minor leaguer) ruptured a hamstring stealing second base (one game before opening day) depriving him of an eventual roster spot.
Despite their regular season dominance, the Tropics lost 12-4 to the St. Petersburg Pelicans in the SPBA's initial championship game.
The West Palm Beach Tropics returned for a second season, as a traveling team known as the Florida Tropics, however the team ceased operation when the league folded in December 1990.
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|AL Wild Card (3)|