by Zane Heiple
|Photo by sikids.com
With the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting Garrit Cole as the overall number one pick in the 2011 draft, it marked the fourth time in the 125 year history of the club that they selected the first pick. On this week’s edition of Bucco Blast From The Past, we look at the first number one overall pick that the team made, Jeff King.
King was picked out of the University of Arkansas in June of 1986 and would spend the 1987-88 seasons playing for the Harrisburg Senators, before making his Major League debut on June 2, 1989. While he didn’t have the Hall of Fame career you would hope for with a number one pick, he was a key part to the Pirates string of three consecutive National League East titles from 1990-92. He would spend eight seasons in a black and gold uniform and have a .258 batting average, with 99 home runs, and 493 RBI.
After a career best year in 1996 that saw him hit .271 with 30 home runs and 111 RBI he would be traded along with Jay Bell to the Kansas City Royals for Joe Randa. King would only play in 2 full seasons for KC as back problems forced him to call it a career in late May of 1999.
While Jeff King did not live up to the potential of a number one overall pick, he still holds a special place in the baseball memories of those of us old enough to remember those early 90’s Pirates teams. Be sure to check back next week for another edition of Bucco Blast From The Past.