Chick King

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Chick King
Chick King.jpg
Born: (1930-11-10)November 10, 1930
Paris, Tennessee
Died: July 9, 2012(2012-07-09) (aged 81)
Paris, Tennessee
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 27, 1954, for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
May 30, 1959, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Batting average .237
Home runs 0
Runs batted in 5

Charles Gilbert "Chick" King (November 10, 1930 – July 9, 2012) was a Major League Baseball outfielder who played for the Detroit Tigers (1954–1956), Chicago Cubs (1958–1959), and St. Louis Cardinals (1959).


Born in Paris, Tennessee, King was the youngest of seven sons. He played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track at Grove High School. He obtained the nickname "Chick" as a boy. Years later, he told a reporter, "I don't know how I got it, but I was young. And it has been with me ever since."[1] As a senior, he was named to the All-American high school football team.[1] In August 1950, King appeared in the All-American high school football game and ran 91 yards for a touchdown on the opening play of the second half.[2] He initially signed to attend the University of Georgia, but he was ruled ineligible by the Southeastern Conference after an investigation of "scholarship inducements."[3] He opted instead to attend Memphis State College where he was a star football player in 1950.[4] He also competed in basketball, baseball and track at Memphis State.[5]

In April 1951, he signed with the Detroit Tigers to play professional baseball. Memphis State football coach Ralph Hately complained at the time, "It's a terrible condition when guys can come on your campus and lure your athletes away from their college educations. It isn't fair for major league clubs to pull a stunt like this."[3]

King played in Detroit's farm system from 1951 to 1954.[6] In late August 1954, he was playing for the Buffalo Bisons, the International League team affiliated with the Detroit Tigers when two Detroit outfielders, Bill Tuttle and Al Kaline were injured.[7][8] King was called up to the Tigers and made his Major League Baseball debut on August 27, 1954. Following his debut against the New York Yankees, The Sporting News called King "a towering 190-pounder" and a "swift outfielder" who had stolen 31 bases for Buffalo.[8] He appeared in 25 games for the Tigers between 1954 and 1956.

In February 1957, the Tigers traded King and an unnamed player to be named later to the Milwaukee Braves in exchange for Jack Dittmer. King was immediately assigned to the Braves' American Association farm club in Wichita, Kansas.[9] He remained in the minor leagues for the 1957 season and was sent from Wichita to the Cubs' farm club in Fort Worth, Texas in December 1957.

King briefly returned to the majors, appearing in eight games for the Chicago Cubs in 1958. He spent most of the 1958 season with the minor league team in Fort Worth, Texas.[10] In May 1959, he was traded by the Cubs to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Irv Noren.[11] He played in only five games for the Cardinals, appearing in his last major league game on May 30, 1959.

Over his five seasons in Major League Baseball, King played in 45 games, 29 as an outfielder and the rest as a pinch hitter. He had a career batting average of .237 and an on-base percentage of .306.

King continued to play minor league baseball until 1961.[6]


  1. ^ a b Ann Broach (October 26, 2010). "Playing, watching sports has been large part of King's life". The Paris Post-Intelligencer. 
  2. ^ "Florida Youth Star of East's Prep Grid Win". Ellensburg Daily Record. August 10, 1950. 
  3. ^ a b "Coach Protests Tiger 'Grab'". Sunday Herald. April 15, 1951. 
  4. ^ "Barred SEC Player Goes To Memphis". The Tuscaloosa News. August 29, 1950. 
  5. ^ "Meet The New Bees". The Deseret News. April 28, 1950. 
  6. ^ a b "Chick King Minor League Statistics". 
  7. ^ "King Recalled". The Leader-Post. August 27, 1954. 
  8. ^ a b Watson Spoelstra (September 8, 1954). "Kuenn Nears 200 Hits for Second Year: Tiger Soph Steps Up Pace; Injuries Give Chances to Chick King, Bob Wilson". The Sporting News. p. 14. 
  9. ^ "Braves Trade Jack Dittmer to Tigers for Chick King and Unnamed Player". The Milwaukee Journal. February 12, 1957. 
  10. ^ "Cards Trade Noren To Cubs". St. Petersburg Times. May 20, 1959. 
  11. ^ "Cardinals Send Irv Noren To Cubs For Younger Chick King, Outfielder". The Hartford Courant. May 20, 1959. 

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