- Ranked 2nd in AL in Home Runs in 1984 and 3rd in RBI.
- Hit 3 Grand Slam Home Runs in 1984, setting A's season record and giving him 14 for his career and tying him for 7th place on all-time list.
- Set A's season record with 14 Sacrifice Flies in 1984.
Chicago Sun-Times wires
March 30, 1984
...Designated hitter Dave Kingman, released by the Mets last winter, signed a one-year contract. He will be paid the major league minimum of $40,000 by the A's, with the Mets responsible for the remaining $675,000 of his contract.
The Sporting News
April 16, 1984
OAKLAND--Dave Kingman, in his eighth game in an Oakland A's uniform, put his name into the team's record book alongside some pretty fast company.
On April 16, in his first visit to the Kingdome in Seattle, Kingman hit three home runs, a grand slam and a pair of two-run shots, to drive in eight runs in a game for the third time in his career. It was the fifth time he had hit three homers in a game. The only other Oakland player to accomplish the feat was Reggie Jackson, who did it against the old Seattle Pilots in Oakland on July 2, 1969.
The grand slam, Kingman's 12th, made him the leader in that category among active players. George Foster of the New York Mets has hit 11.
The only other Oakland players to drive in eight or more runs in one game are Jackson (who did it twice, once knocking in 10 against Boston) and Tony Armas.
Kingman hit three more homers during a three-game series at Boston. He connected with a man aboard in a 5-2 Oakland victory April 21 and bopped his sixth and seventh homers of the season in a 12-8 loss the next day. Though Kingman was hitting only .241, he was leading the league in both homers and runs batted in (18).
The last time Kingman hit three homers in a game was on July 28, 1979. Then a Chicago Cub, he battered the Mets.
Kingman's Seattle victims were lefthanders Matt Young and Ed VandeBerg. Young allowed the grand slam in the first inning and a two-run homer in the third..
"It's still a thrill," Kingman said after the A's has beaten the Mariners 9-6. "It's different hitting in a new park, against new pitchers. I just go up looking to pick up the pitch as it's thrown."
Kingman has a chance to become the 11th major leaguer to hit four homers in a game, but struck out in his fourth at-bat and popped out to short in the ninth.
Kingman hit his grand slam on an 0-and-2 curveball. Said Young, who entered the game with a 2-0 record and a 1.38 earned-run average, "I made more mistakes to Kingman than I did to any other batter in my career. He can be pitched to, but I got two pitches up in the strike zone."
Kingman wasn't surprised at the way Young pitched to him.
"He's a young pitcher and I knew he was going to challenge me with a strike,"Kingman said. "Instinct tells you when a pitch is going to be near the plate."
Prior to his outburst, Kingman hadn't played in a game or taken batting practice for four days. he'd been nursing a sore muscle in his left leg.
However, in the last game he had played, he had homered off California lefthander Geoff Zahn in his next-to-last at-bat. In his last at-bat, he had sent a ball to the warning track in center field.
Kingman took early batting practice in the Kingdome and put on quite a show. So much of a show that the A's stationed equipment manager Frank Clensczyk in the stands to retrieve the balls.
"Balls were bouncing off me like rockets, "Clensczyk said. "But I got them all back."
Of Kingman's home runs, only the second, disputed mildly by the Mariners because a fan in the first row of the bleachers seemed to touch it, could be considered cheap. Manager Steve Boros, happy to see Kingman produce at the plate the way the A's had hoped he would, was impressed.
"He put on quite a show," Boros said, quickly playing down the fact that he himself once hit three solo homers in a game as a member of the Detroit Tigers in 1962. "In batting practice he dented one of the seats. He must have hit between 20 and 30 balls into the seats."
"That's kind of the way I hit homers," Dave Kingman said.
Kingman, Oakland's designated hitter, blasted three consecutive home runs, including a first inning grand slam, in a 9-6 Oakland victory over Seattle Monday.
It was the fifth time in Kingman's 13-year, 346 homer career that he has hit three homers in a game.
Kingman was signed by the Cubs as a free agent in November, 1977. In 1978, he hit 28 homers despite spending nearly a month on the disabled list.
In 1979, he led the league with 48 homers but fell to 18 in 1980 with three tours on the disabled list. The Cubs traded him to the New York Mets for Steve Henderson in February, 1981.
KINGMAN STAYS HOT WITH 2 MORE HOMERS AS A'S DUMP JAYS
Dave Kingman has found his stroke--and his tongue.
"Kong," the Oakland A's 35-year-old designated hitter, hit two home runs and drove in five runs yesterday to lead the A's to a 7-4 victory over the Blue Jays in Toronto. And afterward, he wasn't even reluctant to talk about it.
"I really don't know how to describe it," said Kingman, who in the past has refused to talk to reporters. "It's kind of an unconscious feeling when you have such a start like this.
"It's so unusual because I'm in totally unfamiliar ground--the ballparks are unfamiliar and so is the pitching."
In 10 games--nine on the road--Kingman has nine home runs and 21 runs batted in. He's done it in what has long seemed his natural position--DH.
'I really like the DH," said Kingman, who has spent most of his career in the outfield and at first base. "You stay fresh, you stay strong. All you have to concentrate on is baserunning and hitting."
The Blue Jays set a club record in the sixth when Willie Upshaw, george Bell and Jesse Barfield hit consecutive homers off Mike Warren (3-2) to narrow the score to 6-4. It was the first time in Jays' history they hit three straight homers.
Oakland A's designated hitter Dave Kingman is the season's first repeat winner.
The former Cub hit four home runs--two against Boston last Sunday and two Thursday against Toronto.
The two outbursts gave him a major league-leading 9 homers and 24 runs batted in.
The double-homer games were the 38th and 39th of Kingman's career. They also moved him into a tie with former White Sox Dick Allen with 351 career home runs, 34th on the all-time list.
"It's kind of an unconscious feeling when you have such a start like this,: Kingman said. "I really like the DH. You stay fresh, you stay strong. All you have to concentrate on is baserunning and hitting. I'm really excited about it."
Dave Kingman, who had a taste of the American League seven years ago, is loving it the second time around.
"I played with dave in Chicago with the Cubs. I can tell you he's having a lot of fun now," said Ray Burris, who yesterday pitched a four-hit shutout only to be upstaged somewhat by another Kingman home run.
Kingman hit his 10th homer in April, moving within one of the major league record for the month, as the Oakland A's downed the visiting Minnesota Twins 7-0.
"I'm not aware of that record and I'm not going to think about it," Kingman said. "I just know I've got a lot of confidence at the plate and I like the designated hitter role."
"I didn't know what to expect in this league. I've never seen most of these pitchers, so I've just gone to the plate looking at pitches, looking for the ball. It's a two-way street, of course. The pitchers don't know much about me."
The major league record of 11 April homers is shared by Pittsburgh's Willie Stargell (1971), Graig Nettles of the New York Yankees (1974) and Philadelphia's Mike Schmidt (1976).
Kingman had brief stays with the New York Yankees and California Angels in 1977 when he hit six homers before returning to the National League.
Hit 10th homes of 1984 capped a five-run second inning. It was the 352nd of his career, moving him ahead of Dick Allen into 33rd place on the all-time list.
Burris (2-0) won his first start of the season, striking out seven in the first complete game of the year by an A's pitcher. he will stay in the starting rotation, manager Steve Boros said. The A's other starters, who had put $200 into a pot to be collected by the first man to go nine innings, were debating whether latecomer Burris was eligible.
"That's not the issue," Burris said, laughing off the possible windfall. "We've got a doubleheader Sunday (The A's final games of the month) and out bullpen was able to relax today."
Dwayne Murphy and Kingman both hit two-run homers in the second inning off Al Williams (1-3). It was the second homer in two games for Murphy, who has three this season.
Kingman, who did not homer until Oakland's eighth game, has hit all 10 in the last 15 contests.
Kingman leads the majors in homers and runs batted in with 26. He has played in 19 of Oakland's 21 games and 10 of his 18 hits are homers. He is batting .254.
The Sporting News
August 4, 1984
ST. LOUIS--Dave Kingman's current tour of the American League is, by his own admission, proving to be "kind of unconscious." The A's designated hitter, signed as a free agent this spring after his release by the Mets, led the league in home runs (10) and runs batted in (26) for the first month of play. On a nine-game trip, Kingman hit eight home runs and had 19 RBIs, unloading three homers in one game at Seattle, two in a game at Boston and two in a game in Toronto. "I talked to Jim Gott," said Oakland pitcher Steve McCatty after the game in which the blue Jays righthander served up two homers to Kong, "He said he was trying to pitch Dave up and in. Well, he got it up--Section 24, Row 45."
by: KIT STIER, The Sporting News
May 4, 1984
MINNEAPOLIS--Dave Kingman is the first man to make contact with the ceiling of the Astrodome in Houston. The ball he hit foul off the roof, 208 feet above home plate, was autographed and sent to the hall of fame in 1972 or '73, he can't remember which.
A towering drive by Kingman in Montreal resulted in bright red foul stripes being painted across the overhanging roof of Olympic Stadium.
Now, Sky King, as Minnesota Twins manager Billy gardener has named the Oakland A's slugger, has become the first player to reach the 187-foot ceiling in the Metrodome in fair territory.
With two out in the third inning May 4, Frank Viola of the Twins sent a low fastball Kingman's way. Kingman hit it up, up, up and right through a seven-inch-wide drainage hole in the first layer of the roof.
The Twins' infielders gathered near the mound and peered skyward. Shortstop Houston Jimenez covered his head, fearing he might be bopped by a falling object.
"it was like a rocket going off," said Twins second baseman Tim Teufel. "I was waiting for it to come down through the atmosphere. I knew it had to land near the pitcher's mound somewhere."
Umpire crew chief Jim Evans declared the drive a roof-rule double. A's manager Steve Boros said a ground rule--make that a sky rule--about a ball being lost in the roof never had been discussed.
"That's like a hole-in-one in my book," said Twins first baseman Mickey Hatcher.
Kingman had never been to the Metrodome before. He called the place a "hitter's paradise, an unbelieveable hitter's park," He proved that later in the game by hitting his 11th homer of the season, a drive to left center off Ron Davis.
The next day, a stadium official tried to retrieve the ball that was lodged in the roof, but couldn't reach the real one. So he dropped a substitute through the hole and Hatcher dropped it.
"Hit my leg," Hatcher said. "I didn't even get my glove on it. I felt so dumb."
Ex-Cub dave Kingman returned after missing 11 games with a leg injury and wasted little time in delivering for Oakland.
Kingman hit his 15th home run Wednesday and 16th Thursday against Cleveland.
Friday against the Sox, Kingman singled in a 2-1 win and Saturday he got his 17th homer in a 6-4 win.
The Cubs traded Kingman to the Mets for Steve Henderson in 1981 and Oakland picked him up this year as a free agent.
Chicago Sun-Times wires
OAKLAND, Calif--Dave Kingman's bat told the story yesterday in the A's 8-1 romp over Kansas City.
Kingman himself wouldn't elaborate on his first-inning grand slam home run. Like the ball, he was gone.
It was the customary no comment as he left the ballpark after popping out in the eighth inning.
The grand slam, his 19th homer of the season, and third grand slam of the season, had Oakland in control in the first inning.
Kingman, who lead all active players with 14 grand slams, tied Joe DiMaggio for 30th on the career home run list at 361 with his towering blast off loser Mark Gubicza.
The slam to left field tied Kingman with Gil Hodges for seventh place on the all-time (grand slam) list and left him two shy of the record for slams in a season held by Jim gentile in the American League and Ernie Banks in the National.
Gubicza (3-7) was in trouble from the start as Rickey Henderson led off with a single, Dwayne Murphy walked and Davey Lopes hit an infield single to load the bases.
Bill Kreuger (5-2) pitched out of several jams, picking up the victory by scattering eight hits in 7 2/3 innings before getting help from ace reliever Bill Caudill.
"I wasn't too cute," Kreuger said. "When you have a four-run lead in the first inning, it's easier. That's a real blessing for a pitcher."
The A's made it 6-1 in the third. Carney lansford, who doubled in the first after Kingman's homer, led off the third with a single, took third on Mike Davis' double and scored when he slid under a high throw to home on Garry Hancock's chopper to first. Jim Essian's sacrifice fly scored Davis.
The A's added two more runs in the sixth off Mike Jones on walks to Henderson and Murphy, a run-scoring double by Lopes and a sacrifice fly by Davis.
Caudill put down a two-out, bases-loaded threat in the eighth when he came in and struck out Don Slaught, then held the Royals hitless in the ninth with two more strikeouts.
Dave Kingman won't get credit for the game-winning RBI, but the presence of the A's slugger figured heavily in Oakland's come-from-behind victory over visiting Toronto.
With the score tied 4-4 and runners at first and third with two out in the bottom of the seventh, Kingman swung and missed at a Roy Lee Jackson pitch, but the ball got past catcher Buck Martinez for a passed ball and Rickey Henderson scored easily from third base to give the A's a 5-4 lead.
With first base open, Toronto Manager Bobby Cox decided to pitch to Kingman anyway. Kingman hit a 1-2 pitch 400 feet over the left-field fence for his major league-leading 24th homer to cap a six-run rally and give the A's a season-high fifth straight victory.
"I don't even know what kind of pitch it was," said Kingman of the passed ball. "I missed it, and so did the catcher."
Martinez shouldered the blame.
"I just missed it, it sailed right on in and I didn't get it," said Martinez. "It was a fastball that was really running. We gave them six runs that inning. If you play that bad, you're going to get beat. We don't play like that very often."
"Nobody did the job on that ball," said Cox, who used four pitchers during the Oakland rally. "They had (Mark) Wagner due up, but (Jeff) Burroughs was on the bench and we had two strikes on Kingman. I didn't want to put a guy on when we had two strikes on him."
Former Cub Dave Kingman wasn't named to the American League All-Star team, but he resumed his all-star hitting Thursday after the major leagues' three-day break.
Kingman hit his 24th home run, tops in the majors, Thursday night to lead the Oakland A's to a 7-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
After a passed ball gave the A's a 5-4 lead in the seventh, Kingman followed with a two-run, 400-foot homer.
"He's carried us all year," A's reliever Bill Caudill said of Kingman.
Chicago Sun-Times wires
When Reggie Jackson returned to Yankee Stadium last week, he found a note in his locker. "Hope you can get #500 (homer) against George (Steinbrenner)."
It was signed "Kong"
The Oakland A's and Dave Kingman had just left town.
Chicago Sun-Times wires
Oakland's Dave Kingman was suspended for three games beginning Monday for charging the mound Sept. 10 after being hit by a pitch thrown by White Sox Richard Dotson.
by: KIT STIER, The Sporting News
There is nothing like a dose of fresh air and the sight of a couple hungry rainbow trout to get a guy feeling chipper, especially a man who has spent the better part of nine years living in urban centers such as New York and Chicago.
Such was the case of Dave Kingman, sometimes better known simply as Kong but also labeled crude, insensitive and an introvert who cares little for anyone but himself.
The Oakland A's knew of the labels. But because they were desperate for a righthanded power hitter, they decided to take a chance on him.
The gamble paid off. Kingman had his finest season since his 1979 campaign with the Cubs and, as a result, has been named the Sporting News American league Comeback Player of the Year.
Kingman found peace and happiness with the A's, who play home games a three-hour drive from his home in Lake Tahoe.
Kingman had finished 1983 riding the bench with the New York Mets. He appeared in only 100 games, producing a meager .198 batting average, 13 homers and 29 runs batted in.
As far as the rebuilding mets were concerns, Kingman was excess baggage. They released him.
Kingman met with the A's in February, attended their training camp in Phoenix and signed three days before the start of the season.
The A's didn't care in Kingman struck out 100 times. Since the Mets would be paying all but $40,000 of the slugger's salary of more than $700,000, any homers he hit would be a bonus.
Little did the A's know in February that he would finish the season with 35 homers, including three grand slams, tie Reggie Jackson's franchise record by driving in 118 runs and hit a career-high 23 doubles. Kingman also batted .268, his third-highest average in 13 years in the majors.
Kingman played in 146 games and was forced to play with a brace on his left knee, the result of ligament damage suffered early in the season.
"He is a better hitter this year," said A's batting coach Billy Williams. "Everybody says he is a fastball hitter. I've seen him hit some good breaking balls this year, some really good breaking balls."
Williams, a coach for the Cubs in one of the years Kingman played in Chicago, noticed a marked change.
"Here, he's having fun," Williams said. "He is just enjoying baseball again. He's probably telling the Mets, 'I'm not finished.' and being the DH, he's probably saying, 'Where has this been all my life?'"
Kingman enjoyed being the designated hitter. Although he did play a handful of games at first base, he had but one real job to do: hit. He did it admirably.
What are the reasons behind Kingman's comeback?
"Hal Keller started it all, I guess," Kingman said, recalling some rather unfavorable comments made by the Seattle general manager after Kingman clubbed his second, third and fourth homers of the season and drove in eight runs to beat the Mariners in the Kingdome on April 16.
"I'm serious," Kingman said. "Little things irritate you that mount up. It's such a long season you look for things to motivate you. The All-Star thing was another motivating factor. You sit down, and you are tired and begin to think about a few things. Your blood pressure starts going up. Then you go out and hit."
Kingman was bypassed for the All-Star team, which irritated him. Those supposedly in the know said he struck out too much. He finished the season with 118.
"If that's the way they pick their All-Star team, no wonder they've lost so much," Kingman said. "Look how many strikeouts there were in that game."
Eleven A.L. hitters fanned in the twilight at Candlestick Park.
Kingman's mammoth blasts quickly gained favor with the fans at Oakland Coliseum. After one trip around the league, the cozy parks in the circuit won his heart.
Kingman's comeback was not limited strictly to the field. His relationship with the Bay Area media, especially the four writers who travelled regularly with the A's, was good.
Obviously, there were numerous motivating factors in Kingman's big 1984 season. Whether or not he can do it again is a question with which the club must wrestle this winter. They must ask themselves this question: Will is last? The rainbow trout will be hungry again next summer, but will Kingman?
Press excerpts Copyright 1984 Chicago Sun-Times, The Sporting News
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