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What if Dave Kingman had 500 HRs. HOFER?

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  • #46
    We should elevate the standards for the HOF. That's all i can say. There are many undeserving, and as for deserving candidates, i only see Dick Allen and Ron Santo as being of common agreement to be the only ones.

    Who can start a thread of HOF vote off. And to get 25 players out of the Hall, soon.
    "I am not too serious about anything. I believe you have to enjoy yourself to get the most out of your ability."-
    George Brett

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    • #47
      Originally posted by TheKid8
      Kingman was home run or strike out hitter. He was the predessor to Sammy Sosa. Sosa does not deserve to be in either
      Poor parallel. I am the resident expert on Dave Kingman. I followed his entire career as closely as I could, watched him religiously when he was with the Giants and, much later, in his final three years with the A's. He was the ultimate one-dimensional man, to steal a title from Marcuse. He was a terrible fielder--perhaps the worst of my life, when you combine LF and 1B--a terrible runner, and had a terrible attitude, but he was #5 on the pre-steroids career HR/AB list, and he hit his HR's so far they destroyed pitchers' spirits.

      And he was deadly in the clutch. He hit 3 walkoff HR's in his final season--Toronto in the bottom of the 10th, NYY off Guidry in the bottom of the 9th, and Baltimore for 2 runs while down a run in the bottom of the 9th. In his rookie year, he hit a division-winning 2-run HR on the final day of the season, to beat the Padres and enable the Giants to beat the Dodgers by 1 game. He hit as many grand slams as Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, including 3 in his first season with the A's (Seattle, KC and the NYY; the Seattle slam came in a 3-HR, 8-RBI game). I remember them all as clearly as I do the 3 walkoffs in his final year. He had 3-HR games for at least the A's, the Cubs and the Mets. He hit a wind-aided HR in Wrigley for a preposterous distance estimated at anywhere from 550 feet to well over 600 feet.

      Dave Kingman did one thing--one very important thing--and he did it better than any non-steroid-cheat in MLB history except Ruth, Kiner (only a 10-year career), Killebrew and Ted Williams. He stunk beyond my powers of description in every other way, including strikeouts, OBP, batting average, etc. In 1983, he won the NL HR title and nearly batted under .200, which would have been the perfect Dave Kingman record.

      I have written about Kingman many times on this site. My feeling is that IF he had played his career entirely in the A.L., never taken the field, and thus not committed many boatloads of egregious errors which cost his innumerable teams (see 1977, for example: four teams in one year) innumerable runs, his HR/AB ratio and total HR's should get him in the Hall.

      But he didn't. He played the vast majority of his career in the N.L., almost never played a full season, due to malingering and pouting and benchings, was called a "clubhouse cancer" and all sorts of other things by teammates after he left, and hurt his teams in lots of ways. It was NOT a simple tradeoff of 2+ singles and 1 titanic HR every 15 AB's, in return for a bunch of terrible looking outs. The downside was a lot bigger than that. So I would not put him in the Hall, even though his HR totals and specific HR feats were so awesome they're awfully hard to overlook.

      B U T . . . .

      Dave Kingman was not a cheater. I would put him in the Hall a thousand times before I would put Sammy Sosa there. Period.

      BHN

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      • #48
        Nope

        I have no recollection of ever seeing Dave Kingman play therefore I will have to base my evaluaton solely on his raw numbers. That being said I'm not very fond of players who extend their careers for several years by appearing as a team's designated hitter, as Kingman did. With that in mind, here are a few of Kingmans raw stats:

        1) struck out 1,816 times compared to garnering 608 walks;
        2) retired with a .236 batting average and a .302 on-base percentage;
        3) had 100 or more RBI twice in a 16 year career, spent significant stretches of time as a DH;
        4) although he had seven chances to, never won a Silver Slugger Award;
        5) owns a .111 post-season BA and a .200 OBP;
        6) in 16 years stole 85 bases and was caught 49 times, a 64% "success rate";
        7) never won a Gold Glove or Most Valuable Player Award
        8) hit 442 home runs but knocked in only 1,210 RBI (excluding himself from that number the total shrinks to 768 RBI over 16 seasons.

        Those are eight fairly compelling reasons that elucidate how Kingman was a one dimensional player and should not be a Hall of Famer. And Eight Is Enough for me.

        Most members of the BBWAA, a few of whom I know personally through my work as a journalist, also would have been aware of these reasons. The baseball writers generally get the HOF voting right. It was the old Veteran's Committee that flooded the HOF with unworthy players.
        Last edited by baseball junkie; 08-03-2006, 07:10 AM.
        “I see great things in baseball.”
        Walt Whitman

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        • #49
          Originally posted by 538280
          I don't understand. I still don't get how getting these milestones means you're a truly great player. Kingman could have easily stuck around a few more years, a team could have easily just picked him up, put him at DH, and he probably would have hit the same as he did the previous year. I suspect, in fact, that no team did because they DIDN'T want him to get to 500 HRs.
          Well, they didn't want him to get 500 homers while playing on their team, anyway. Kingman played on 8 teams in 16 years (counting the Mets twice.) He holds the record for playing in four different divisions in a single year.

          Kingman's last year was 1986. In July 1987 he was signed as a free agent by the Giants and never played for them. It's hard to believe that a player can hit 35 home runs a year and not be good enough to play, but Dave Kingman was that player.
          The ball once struck off,
          Away flies the boy
          To the next destin'd post,
          And then home with joy.
          --Anonymous, 1744

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by baseball junkie
            I have no recollection of ever seeing Dave Kingman play therefore I will have to base my evaluaton solely on his raw numbers. That being said I'm not very fond of players who extend their careers for several years by appearing as a team's designated hitter, as Kingman did. With that in mind, here are a few of Kingmans raw stats:

            1) struck out 1,816 times compared to garnering 608 walks;
            2) retired with a .236 batting average and a .302 on-base percentage;
            3) had 100 or more RBI twice in a 16 year career, spent significant stretches of time as a DH;
            4) although he had seven chances to, never won a Silver Slugger Award;
            5) owns a .111 post-season BA and a .200 OBP;
            6) in 16 years stole 85 bases and was caught 49 times, a 64% "success rate";
            7) never won a Gold Glove or Most Valuable Player Award
            8) hit 442 home runs but knocked in only 1,210 RBI (excluding himself from that number the total shrinks to 768 RBI over 16 seasons.

            Those are eight fairly compelling reasons that elucidate how Kingman was a one dimensional player and should not be a Hall of Famer. And Eight Is Enough for me.

            Most members of the BBWAA, a few of whom I know personally through my work as a journalist, also would have been aware of these reasons. The baseball writers generally get the HOF voting right. It was the old Veteran's Committee that flooded the HOF with unworthy players.
            The baseball writers HATED Dave Kingman from Day One, because of his outrageously surly attitude. He was Ted Williams, minus 100 tons of skill, and they treated him like they treated Williams in his career.

            Please take my word for what I said about Kingman: the ultimate one-dimensional man, terrible at everything else, and I mean just terrible beyond belief, but he hit the 5th highest pre-Steroid Ball % of HR's and a lot of them were extremely timely. When he was with Oakland in 1984-1986 and the team stunk, all the fans cared about was Kingman. I lived 75 miles away, and someone would frequently ask me, in reference to that day's A's game, not, "Did Oakland win," but, "Did Kingman do anything?" Translation: "Did Kingman hit one of those moonshots?" They were so mesmerizing you couldn't help be fascinated.

            Like I said, it was "only" 1 every 15.11 AB's, and other than 2+ singles in the other 15.11 AB's, he was worse-than-worthless: especially in the field and, from what many ex-teammates said, in the clubhouse.

            If he'd never played the field, I'd vote to put him in the Hall. And in 30 or 40 years, after those who played against and with him are gone, and after a sense of how tough hitting was in the 1970's and 1980's has set in, those 442 HR's probably will get him in the Hall, though he won't live to see it. But he won't belong there. His teams paid HUGE prices for those errors, and those errors are why, if you go back and look at his season-by-season AB totals, he had such a low career AB total and thus not 600 HR's and only 2 HR crowns. If he'd have been able to field his position, Mike Schmidt--whose career HR/AB ratio was close but lower, would never have won 8 HR crowns.

            I was as magnetized by Kingman's go-for-it-all swings, and the occasional moon shots, as anyone alive. But he should never make the Hall.

            BHN

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            • #51
              Did the Mariners make him a major-league offer in the middle of the '87 season? I seem to remember that they ultimately went with Gary Matthews because Kong wasn't interested.

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              • #52
                The Tigers made him an offer at the beginning of 1987, and Sparky Anderson really wanted him.

                Moreover, that would have been a great place for Kong to hit HR's, and 1987 was a year of very live baseballs and inflated HR numbers. But Kong said he wanted to be the everyday DH, and Darrell Evans was then in the process of being perhaps the greatest post-40 hitter of all time (at that point), so he was their LH-designated hitter. Anderson regretfully said no.

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                • #53
                  Dave Kingman was a one-dimensional player. It was miraculous that he managed to hang around long enough to belt as many home runs as he did. 500 HRs would not have made him a HOFer.

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                  • #54
                    I tend to think he would have made it, but as others have pointed out he was the first 400-homer guy to be passed over.
                    The Writer's Journey

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                    • #55
                      There was a thread on whether Doc Cramer would have made it if he got 3,000 hits. Cramer would have been a terrible choice as well. Given the milestone trinity of 500 HR, 3,000 H, and 300 W, and acknowledging that Kingman is our guy on the first, and Cramer on the second, who might we consider the 300 W equivalent? Is there such a player?
                      "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

                      - Alvin Dark

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by AstrosFan View Post
                        There was a thread on whether Doc Cramer would have made it if he got 3,000 hits. Cramer would have been a terrible choice as well. Given the milestone trinity of 500 HR, 3,000 H, and 300 W, and acknowledging that Kingman is our guy on the first, and Cramer on the second, who might we consider the 300 W equivalent? Is there such a player?
                        Don Sutton? Mickey Welch? If you want someone short of 300, Bobby Mathews? For a more modern example, Jamie Moyer?
                        Last edited by jjpm74; 10-21-2010, 07:44 PM.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by AstrosFan View Post
                          There was a thread on whether Doc Cramer would have made it if he got 3,000 hits. Cramer would have been a terrible choice as well. Given the milestone trinity of 500 HR, 3,000 H, and 300 W, and acknowledging that Kingman is our guy on the first, and Cramer on the second, who might we consider the 300 W equivalent? Is there such a player?
                          Jamie Moyer
                          "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                          "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                          "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                          "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by AstrosFan View Post
                            There was a thread on whether Doc Cramer would have made it if he got 3,000 hits. Cramer would have been a terrible choice as well. Given the milestone trinity of 500 HR, 3,000 H, and 300 W, and acknowledging that Kingman is our guy on the first, and Cramer on the second, who might we consider the 300 W equivalent? Is there such a player?
                            If Jim Kaat could have hung in for a couple last seasons where he went 17-25 with an ERA+ of 70, he'd be in the discussion.

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                            • #59
                              I voted yes because I think he would have made it with 500. I do not think he would deserve it however. Hope the poll wasn't asking "should he go" in.
                              Lou Gehrig is the Truest Yankee of them all!

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                              • #60
                                I would say no.

                                Dave Kingman was very one dimensional. I remember several years ago, when a member of this board insisted that Kingman was Mark Mcgwire without the walks. This is simply not true. Mcgwire's batting average was right about the league average for the time he played. Kingman's was 26 points below. That is pretty significant, so even if we rank them even on power(which is probably not accurate) and give Kingman Mac's walk rate Mcgwire still brought more to the table.

                                Kingman did not walk enough, and his BA was not high enough. His ops+ was 115, and it was fueled by slugging. Kingman did not contribute enough to be an HOF guy, even with 500 home runs.

                                He was, however, a valuable player. At his best, he was an all-star.

                                I should add that in discussing McGwire I am not factoring the 500 pound gorilla in the room.

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