Saturday, October 7, 2017

From My Collection: Dave Kingman

The 500-home run club was a big deal to me growing up, because I remembered local hero Mike Schmidt joining it.  The Phillies rightly made a big deal about it, and I could name everyone in it and their ordering within it, I think.  I was always interested in those just below, too, in the 400-home run club, and that includes Dave Kingman.
1973 Topps Dave Kingman.
At some point I must have picked up a couple of early cards, his 1973 and 1975 Topps cards.  I can't imagine these cost me very much back then.
1975 Topps Dave Kingman.
This 1980 Topps Home Run leaders card may have been in my collection since 1980; I was only 4 or 5 then, and did not take care of any cards that Dad bought me.  You can see a big crease across Gorman Thomas in the picture.  I like this card as much for Thomas as for Kingman.  I mentioned before, when talking about Harold Baines, that I had a book that talked about each team's career home run leader.  I was fascinated by the idea that someone could be a club's home run leader and I had never heard of them -- there were only a couple, but Gorman Thomas was one of them.  Kingman led the majors with 48 home runs in 1979, and Thomas led the AL with 45; Mike Schmidt was second in the NL, and tied for second in the majors, also with 45.
1980 Topps Home Run Leaders, with Dave Kingman and Gorman Thomas.
I have a handful of Drake's Cakes cards; I can't say for sure, but we probably didn't get them from a box of Drake's.  Being in the Philadelphia area, we bought many boxes of Tastykakes over the years; Drake's were available here and there, but I always thought of them as more of a New York thing.  Here's Kingman in 1982 with the Mets.  In the strike-shortened 1981 season, Kingman led the league by striking out over 100 times.  He fared better in 1982, still leading the NL is striking out, but also leading the NL in home runs with 37.
1982 Drake's Dave Kingman.
I don't have many Leaf cards, or O-Pee-Chee either.  Of the ones I do have, there aren't many stars.  I guess Kingman would be classified as a minor star, and that might make him the best Leaf card I have.  This 1985 card has him near the end of his career playing in the AL as a DH with the A's.
1985 Leaf Dave Kingman.
In an upcoming post, I'll show my recent acquisition of the 1985 Topps Circle K Home Run Kings set.  The set featured the players who were at the time the career leaders for home runs.  Kingman was #26 on the list then, with 377.  He ended with 442 in 1986, adding 30 in 1985 and 35 in 1986.
1985 Topps Circle K Home Run Kings Dave Kingman.
Kingman was known for many things, like having a low batting average, his many strikeouts, being a poor fielder, and not being a nice guy.  But, man, he could hit for power.

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