Mets Card of the Week: 1977 Dave Kingman


Dave Kingman is as much 1977 to me as Rumours, Rocky, the Ramones, and R2-D2.

He brought to the mid ’70s Mets something that they had rarely seen before. The franchise– weaned on essential ineptitude, and brought to maturity by the finesse of a well-pitched game– now had at its disposal raw, dumb power.

And it felt good.

Kingman led the league in AB per HR in 1975 and 1976. He finished in the top 20 in the MVP voting both years, and donned disco-white spikes to represent the Mets in the Bicentennial All-Star Game at Veterans Stadium.

I didn’t grieve his June 15, 1977 move to the Padres quite as ferociously as I did that same day’s Tom Seaver trade, but it hurt.

Because simple things like Dave Kingman can mean the world when you’re a kid…

3 comments for “Mets Card of the Week: 1977 Dave Kingman

  1. December 5, 2012 at 9:06 am

    There was nothing more exciting than Kingman ABs when he was in the middle of one of his hot streaks. His HR were absolutely majestic. If someone put together a video of all of his HR with the Mets, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

  2. Joe Wenzel
    December 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I was really pissed off when Kingman got hurt in 1976 – he’d have easily hit 50 homers – he had 32 before the end of July. He only hit 5 in September when he came back from his bad thumb – I would bet if he was really healthy and had his timing he’d have easily hit 10 that month and add in the entire month of August – he might have really pushed Ruth’s record of 61. Back when 61 really meant something.

    To add insult to Kong’s injury – Mike Schmidt playing probably in all 162 games like he usually did (and in that Philly Bandbox compared to Shea) won the Homerun title by 1 with 38 to Kingman’s 37. As a kid I really felt Schmidt backed into that crown and Kingman was robbed.

    And you’re right Kingman’s Homers were always towering drives deep to Left Field (he was a dead pull hitter) no one came close to his moon shots and none, I say again, none of his homers were cheap. If he was in his prime today in these small ballparks especially in the A.L. East he’d be hitting 60 Homers a year just like Sosa used to do minus the PEDs.

    And considering, except for one year in 1962 (Frank Thomas, with 34 Homers) no one prior to Kingman had broached even 30 Homeruns – John Milner had led the team the year before with only 20 – so to have a guy hit 37 with such raw power was a sight to behold as a kid.

    And to follow that up by hitting 30 the next year by the All-Star break was awesome – but being the Mets, of course, he gets hurt and then the team blew the rest of the season down their leg.

  3. Joe Wenzel
    December 13, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    I should have said Ruth’s record of 60 and Maris’ record of 61.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: