Here we are, a new week and a new slate of players to feature in this – the top 50 Mets of all time countdown.
Today’s former Met was at one time quite possibly the most feared Mets power bat from the mid ’70′s. That’s right we are talking about Kingman25′s favorite Met of all Time, David Arthur Kingman – or as us Mets fans affectionately call him – ” Kong “.
The Mets purchased Kingman from the San Francisco Giants in February of 1975, and he would make his debut as a third baseman on April 8th of that season. Kingman would only appear in twelve games at third with the Mets that season, because of his shaky defense. They used him mainly as both a first baseman and a left fielder.
Kingman – known for his power, would hit a club record with 36 home runs in his first season with the Mets. In 1977, Kong broke his own record with 37 homers, which earned him the nod to start in right field for the 1976 National League All-Star team.
In the 1977 season, Kingman struggled at the plate hitting a paltry batting only .209 with nine home runs . That June 15th he was traded to the San Diego Padres for then utility infielder ( and future Mets manager) , Bobby Valentine and minor league pitcher Paul Siebert in what was christened the infamous “Midnight Massacre”That day also saw then Mets President – M . Donald Grant trade Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds for a handful of rookies and minor league prospects.
In 1981 Kingman would make his return to the Mets when the Mets would reacquire him from the Chicago Cubs for then everyday outfielder, Steve Henderson and cash. Kingman would mostly play first base upon his return to the Mets in 1981,playing a little outfield when necessary. He played first base exclusively during the ’82 season.
In his first two seasons back with the Mets , he would lead the league in strike outs both of his first two seasons in New York (105 in 1981 & 156 in 1982). Kingman would remain with the team for the ’83 season in, and was released at the seasons end.
That off season “ Sky King” , as he affectionately called himself ( he hated the name “Kong” ) signed as a free agent with the Oakland Athletics.
In his six years with the Mets, Kingman would have a combined bating average of .219 with 154 home runs , 389 RBIs and 672 strike outs. He surprised the Mets fan base when he appeared at the ” Shea Goodbye” ceremonies on the last day of the ’08 season.
Tomorrow we will feature at number 43 one of the most popular Mets of the ’70′s.
And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!
Mets alumni celebrating birthdays today include :
Mets closer from ’79-’83, Neil Allen is 53 today (1958) . Thank goodness for Neil Allen, yes he was mediocre for the Mets , but he did net us Keith Hernandez in that lopsided trade with the Cardinals !!!
Reserve first baseman ( and brother of Mets pitcher /nemesis Tom) Mike Glavine is 38 today (1973) .
The Texas Rangers signed reserve outfielder, Shawn Hare of the New York Mets as a free agent on January 24, 1995.
New York Mets signed free agent middle reliever, Graeme Lloyd on January 24, 2003. The Australian native would pitch rather well on a bad ’03 Mets team , going 1-2 with a ERA of 3.31 in 36 games. The New York Mets signed free agent starting pitcher, Geremi Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox on January 24, 2006. Gonzalez pitched briefly for the Mets that season going 0-0 with a ERA OF 7.71. He would tragically die in ’08 after being hit by lightening on a beach in his home country of Venezuela.
The Baltimore Orioles signed middle reliever, of the New York Mets as a free agent on January 24, 2006.
The Chicacgo Cubs signed outfielder, Cliff Floyd of the New York Mets as a free agent on January 24, 2007. It was sad to see Cliff go, but it was evident that he would never play a full season healthy ever again.
And while you try to get over the disappointment of last nights Jets game, just remember that there are just 67 more days until the Mets open the 2011 season against the Florida Marlins in Miami and only 74 days until the Mets 2011 home opener against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.
Mo Vaughn has the worst case of the runs after eating a whole cornucopia of fatty foods last night !!!