Saturday, January 16, 2010

Final Card: Jim King

Here is the final card for Jim King (#509). After playing the past 6 seasons for the Senators, Jim spent his last year (1967) playing for three teams. He's one of 5 players to play for more than 2 teams in 1967 (along with Jim Landis, John Buzhardt, Jack Lamabe, and Ken Harrelson).

Jim began playing minor-league ball in 1950 with the independent Vernon (TX) Dusters in the class-D Longhorn League. Prior to the 1951 season, he was acquired by the St. Louis Cardinals and spent the next 4 seasons with their minor-league teams. After the 1954 season, the Cubs selected him in the rule 5 draft.

He made his major-league debut in April 1955, and was the Cubs' regular right fielder that season. The following year, he was the backup in left and right field.

The next few years seem like wasted seasons for King. In April 1957 he was traded back to the Cardinals, but spent most of the year in triple-A. In 1958 he was traded twice: in April he went to the Giants and divided his time between San Francisco and their triple-A team in Phoenix, then in July he was traded to the independent Toronto Maple Leafs.

In 1960 (while still playing for Toronto) he became the property of the Cleveland Indians. After the season the expansion Washington Senators drafted him from the Indians.

In his first 2 seasons with the Senators, he shared right field with Gene Woodling and also subbed in left field. In 1963 and 1964, Jim was Washington's everyday right fielder. In 1965 and 1966 his playing time decreased, as he began sharing right field again, with Willie Kirkland in 1965 and Fred Valentine in 1966.

King began the 1967 season as the regular right fielder, but soon lost out to the newly-acquired Cap Peterson. On June 15th he was traded to the White Sox for outfielder Ed Stroud. Six weeks later he was traded to the Indians for outfielder Rocky Colavito. The White Sox and Indians used him mainly for pinch-hitting duties.

Jim was released by the Indians after the season, ending his 11-year career.

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