- Hit his 16th Career Grand Slam in 1986, tying him for 5th place (at that time) on the all-time list with Henry Aaron and Babe Ruth.
- Hit 30 or more Home Runs for the 7th time in his career.
Singular behavior by often conroversial Dave Kingman landed the Oakland designated hitter ex-Chicago player of the week honors.
Kingman, owner of 407 career home runs, was selected for his single Thursday that helped Oakland beat Minnesota. But it wasn't just any kind of a single.
Kingman, 37, was 0-for-8 on the season before he laid down a b-u-n-t. "Dave Kingman is never instructed to bunt," manager Jackie Moore said. "But he turned the game around."
Rookie A's slugger Jose Canseco, who homered in the game, summed up the experience of seeing Kingman bunt: "We were amazed."
Kingman's eligibility as an ex-Chi began Feb 28, 1981, when he was traded to the Mets for outfielder Steve Henderson.
With their hitters struggling, the Oakland A's decide to skip batting before yesterday's game against the Blue Jays at Toronto. Instead, they took it during the game.
Dave Kingman powered a 17-hit attack with two home runs and five RBI to help Moose Haas become the major leagues' first six-game winner and lead Oakland to a 17-3 romp.
Toronto reliever Bill Caudill, who gave up three runs in two innings, said Oakland just seemed to put everything together.
"They had their hitting shoes on. Everything went their way. They got their hits up into the jet stream here and the balls just took off," he said.
Kingman, who went 3-for-5, entered the game batting just .155 and had managed only three hits in his last 37 at-bats.
Kingman began the onslaught in the second inning when he led off with a solo blast off Jimmy Key (0-3).
The A's took control with five third-inning runs.
The Oakland A's turned to Eric Plunk as an emergency starter yesterday and will go with another, Dave Stewart, today against the New York Yankees.
"Hey, it's nothing to worry about. We've got it going now," manager Jackie Moore said after Dave Kingman's one-out homer off Ron Guidry in the ninth inning gave the A's a 4-3 victory, their second straight following a five-game losing streak.
Guidry no doubt knew about the strength of Kingman, whose homer was his 11th this year and No. 418 of his career.
"He hit a slider. That's all I threw him. I had to go with my best pitch," Guidry said.
The homer was Kingman's third in four games. It came on a 3-2 pitch and was only the fifth hit off Guidry (4-4). But it was the third homer off the vteran left-hander, who lost his third straight decision and hasn't won since May 10.
By KIT STIER, The Sporting News
OAKLAND--The Bay Area press has been crying for the head of Dave Kingman, taking him to task for a seemingly anemic bat and dour personality.
As usual, the Oakland A's designated hitter has gone about doing what he does best. he hits home runs occasionally, strikes out a lot and pays little mind to reporters.
Kingman's bat came to life after sportswriters pointed out that his statistics in his first 39 games hadn't carried much weight. Through May 28, he had nine homers and 28 runs batted in. However, five homers and 13 RBIs came in three nig games, leaving his output at four homers and 15 RBIs for 36 other days.
On May 30, in his 40th game, Kingman hit a solo homer in a 6-3 victory over the Yankees. The next afternoon, Kingman gave the A's a 4-3 victory over New York with a solo blast off Ron Guidry in the bottom of the ninth.
Afterward, Kingman granted a rare interview.
"It's a thrill two people won't ever experience," said Kingman, referring to two San Francisco columnists who one day earlier had called for his release.
Kingman also revealed that he had been suffering from pains in his lower back and had been taking 30 minutes of treatment daily.
"It's starting to get better," said Kingman. "I've always been a slow-starter. I"ve just been struggling. I've had a slow bat."
The big homer off Guidry was a classic. The lefthander quickly got two strikes and then the count went full. Kingman fouled off a handful of pitches before he ripped a hanging slider to the far reaches of the left-field bleachers at the Oakland Coliseum.
"That was a heck of an at-bat," said A's Manager Jackie Moore. "He could have popped up or grounded out. You have to appreciate how he battled.
On June 3, Kingman victimized Detroit lefthander Dave LaPoint with a first-inning grand slam, triggering a 6-4 victory. He now has 16 bases-loaded homers and is tied with Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron for fifth place on the career list. The leader is Lou Gehrig, with 23.
The A's re-signed Kingman for a little over half his 1985 salary because they didn't want to lose a guy who had hit 65 homers and driven in 209 runs for them in two years.
Kingman scoffed at the criticism he's taken this year.
"I've had critics all my career," he said. "When those stories came out, I had a good laugh."
Press excerpts Copyright 1986 Chicago Sun-Times, The Sporting News
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