Glancing Back, and Remembering Jim King
For more than a decade, Jim King was a left-handed power hitter who was more often traded than played. Teams wanted King’s bat, then sat him more than played him. But when he did play, and did bat, he was always a threat to go deep.
King was acquired by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1951 and drafted into the Chicago Cubs’ organization in 1954. King played for the Cubs in 1955 and 1956, hitting .249 in 1956 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs. That winter he was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals, and a year later traded to the San Francisco Giants. He spent the major part of those seasons in the minor leagues, as well as 1959 and 1960.
King was acquired by the Cleveland Indians just before the 1960 season (when he batted .287 with 24 home runs and 86 RBIs for Toronto in the International League). Before he could play a single game for the Tribe, King was selected by the expansion Washington Senators and batted .270 with 11 homers and 46 runs batted in for the Senators in 1961 – on only 263 official at-bats.
King finally had a home in the majors, and he would play for Washington for the next six seasons. His best season with the Senators came in 1963 when he hit 24 home runs and knocked in 62 runs. From 1963 through 1965, King averaged 19 home runs and 56 RBIs per season.
In June of 1967, the Senators traded King to the Chicago White Sox. Six weeks later, the White Sox dealt King with a player to be named later to the Cleveland Indians for Rocky Colavito. He finished the 1967 season with only one home run and 14 RBIs. King retired after that season.
In his 11-year career, King hit .240 with 117 home runs and 401 RBIs.