On This Date in Sports May 4, 1984: Up in the Roof

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

Oakland Athletics designated hitter Dave Kingman, known for majestic home runs, hits a high fly ball that gets stuck in the roof of the Metrodome. The ball did not leave the infield as players for the Minnesota Twins looked up, waiting to end the fourth inning when the ball went into a vent. Umpires, not knowing how to handle it, awarded Kingman a ground-rule double. Dave Kingman would not score as the Twins won the game 3-1. 

Dave Kingman, born December 21, 1948, in Pendleton, Oregon, was a player that was more born for the current era of baseball than the era in which he played. The first all-or-nothing hitter, who was known for majestic home runs, while often batting near the Mendoza Line. Kingman was often among the league leaders in home runs but often had one of the worst batting averages. He led the league in home runs twice and collected over 400 home runs, but his .236 average kept him out of the Hall of Fame.

Dave Kingman was a star pitcher and slugger at USC. He helped the Trojans win the College World Series in 1970 before he was picked first by the San Francisco Giants in the second phase of the MLB Draft. Kingman made his debut in 1971 and showed great promise in the final two months of the season. However, his low batting average and high strikeouts overshadowed his power numbers. Before the 1975 season, Dave Kingman was sold to the New York Mets. In New York, he became an All-Star. In 1975 and 1976, Kingman battled Mike Schmidt for the home run title in the National League. 

In 1977, Dave Kingman was traded to the San Diego Padres, starting a unique journey where he played for four teams one in each division, later playing briefly with the California Angels before ending the season back in New York with the Yankees. Kingman signed with the Chicago Cubs in 1978. In 1979 he had the best season of his career, hitting 48 home runs while hitting .288. After making the All-Star Game in 1980, he returned to the New York Mets. Kingman won a second home run crown in 1982 with a team record 37 home runs but hit just .204. Dave Kingman lost his job at first base in 1983 when the Mets acquired Keith Hernandez and had one of the worst seasons on his career, batting .198 with 13 homers.

After his disappointing season in 1983, Dave Kingman signed with the Oakland Athletics. He won Comeback Player of the Year in 1984, hitting 35 home runs with a .268 average. In the game in which the ball got stuck in the roof. Kingman hit his 11th home run of the season, as the Athletics lost 3-1, with Tim Teufel sparking the Twins' with his first home run of the season. After the 1986 season, Dave Kingman went unsigned, ending his career with 442 home runs.