player, in the major leagues
from 1971 to 1986, known for hitting home run
s extraordinarily long distances. He hit a lot of them, too - 442 over the course of his sixteen years in the majors.
Unfortunately, though, he couldn't hit much else. His batting average was abysmal, .236 for his career, and he was as notorious for frequent strikeouts as for home runs.
Born in 1948, Kingman attended USC in 1969 and 1970, playing as both a pitcher and fielder, but quit after two years to turn professional, where he gave up pitching and played in the infield and outfield; frequenting third base when younger, and then first base as he got older and slowed down.
The severe limitations of his one-dimensional talent must have worn out his welcome quickly, since no team wanted to keep him around for more than a few years:
The defining moment of Kingman's athletic career occurred on May 4, 1984 in the Minneapolis, Minnesota Metrodome. Kingman had hit baseballs entirely out of ballparks before, but these had been home runs, exiting the open-air arenas horizontally. The Metrodome is an enclosed facility. In the fourth inning of a game between Kingman's Angels and the Minnesota Twins, the six foot, six inch first baseman hit the baseball nearly straight up. And up it went...
It never came down. The ball, which in an outdoor park would have been easily caught by one of the infielders, instead found its way through a drainage hole in the Metrodome's roof. Kingman was awarded a ground rule double by the umpires for his trouble.