Saturday, September 1, 2012
no. 88 - hal king
Who is the man: Hal King was coming off the most playing time he would ever receive in the majors when this card was issued. King, platooning with Bob Tillman in 1970, appeared in 89 games with 204 at-bats, hitting .260.
Can ya dig it: It's awesome that King is "protecting" his throwing hand in the pose, much like he'd do in an actual game. It always seems weird when catchers pose on vintage cards and have their throwing hand out in front of them, as if that would ever happen.
Right on: Did King dot the 'I' in his last name with a baseball? It's hard to tell, but I'm going to believe that's what he did.
You see this cat King is a bad mother: King is often cited by Reds fans as the man who helped turn around Cincinnati's 1973 season. On July 1, 1973, King hit a pinch-hit, game-winning, two-run home run in the ninth inning to give the Reds a comeback 4-3 victory over the Dodgers. The Reds, in fourth place at the time and nine games behind the division-leading Dodgers, would go on to win the division.
Shut your mouth: A year later, King was sent out to pinch-hit again in the seventh inning of a tie game with the Dodgers on July 2, 1974. He struck out and the Dodgers won the game ... and won the division.
No one understands him but his woman: King's 1973 season really is remarkable. He played in just 35 games and had eight hits the entire season. Four of those hits were home runs.
(A word about the back): The last line of the bio write-up sounds like they're talking about an Astros groupie.