Trading Card Friday: Jeff King

Jeff King

Before Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper became the latest overall #1 draft picks to play for the Senators on City Island, Jeff King was the first. The University of Arkansas product was selected by Pittsburgh with the first pick in the 1986 draft and signed for a then record $180,000.

After playing 26 games to finish the 1987 season in Harrisburg, King stayed at Double-A for the entire 1988 season where he hit .255, tied for fourth in the Eastern League with 14 home runs, and drove in 66 runs.

King would go on to club 154 home runs over a 11-year Major League career with the Pirates and Royals despite being a reluctant ballplayer. As Joe Posnanski wrote last year, “Best I could tell, Jeff King did not like playing baseball. I can never remember seeing a player who seemed so miserable on a baseball diamond…He couldn’t wait to get out. Later someone told me that he had, only the day before he retired, secured enough service time to guarantee his MLB pension.”

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