Jeff King
Jeff King as a Pittsburgh Pirate
Born: (1964-12-26) December 26, 1964 (age 59)
Marion, Indiana, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 2, 1989, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
May 21, 1999, for the Kansas City Royals
MLB statistics
Batting average.256
Home runs154
Runs batted in709

Jeffrey Wayne King (born December 26, 1964) is an American former professional baseball player who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals.


King graduated from Rampart High School in Colorado Springs in 1983. He was drafted first overall by Pittsburgh in the 1986 June Amateur Draft, after playing college ball at the University of Arkansas. He played his 1987–88 seasons with the Eastern Leagues Harrisburg Senators before being promoted to Pittsburgh.

King was a key part of the Pirates Division Championship teams of 1990, 1991, and 1992, batting 6th right after Barry Bonds, Andy Van Slyke and Bobby Bonilla. He was plagued by back injuries which forced Bonilla to play third base during the 1990 NLCS.

King was the third player—the first two being Willie McCovey and Andre Dawson—to hit two home runs in the same inning twice during his career. On August 8, 1995, he hit two home runs in the second inning of the Pirates' 9–5 victory over the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park.[1] On April 30, 1996, he repeated this feat, this time in the fourth inning of the Pirates' 10–7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Cinergy Field.[2] Alex Rodriguez and Edwin Encarnación would later accomplish this feat.

After the 1996 season, the Pirates traded King and Jay Bell to the Kansas City Royals for Joe Randa. In two full seasons with the Royals, he hit 28 and 24 home runs. King was the Royals regular first baseman at the beginning of the 1999 season, but, bothered by back problems, he abruptly announced his retirement on May 23, 1999, two days after going 1–4 against the Texas Rangers. Sportswriter Joe Posnanski, who covered King when Posnanski worked for the Kansas City Star, reported that King disliked baseball so much that he retired the day after his pension from Major League Baseball fully vested.

King finished his career with a .256 batting average and 154 home runs in 1,201 games.


  1. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates at San Francisco Giants Box Score, August 8, 1995".
  2. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds Box Score, April 30, 1996".