#Shortstops: King-sized pop-up
On May 17, 1979, Kingman showed off that prestigious power to the world in grand fashion. Kingman blasted a ball out to left at Wrigley Field. The ball flew out of Wrigley and across Waveland Avenue and on to Kenmore Avenue where it landed three houses in. The ball is estimated to have landed 550 feet from home plate.
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Turns out Kingman’s ball actually was hit through a drainage hole in the roof. The Twins would win the game 3-1. The next day, an employee at the Metrodome went up to retrieve the ball. He dropped the ball back down to earth where Hatcher was waiting to catch it. It did not go well. Hatcher is quoted as telling the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “I couldn't see the darn thing when they dropped it and it almost hit me in the head.”
On the 20th anniversary of the play, the Twins would bring back both Kingman and Hatcher. Kingman was to throw out the first pitch. Hatcher, as he had done 20 years earlier, stood under the drainage hole as a ball was dropped from the roof where he was to catch it. As with 20 years ago, Hatcher did not catch the ball.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum preserves the ball from the game that Dave Kingman "blasted through the drainage pipe."
Nicholas DiGrispino is the 2022 library research intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development