April 3, 1892|
|Died: December 27, 1982
|July 1, 1914, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 20, 1914, for the New York Yankees|
Henry Lees "Harry" Kingman (April 3, 1892 – December 27, 1982) was a first baseman in Major League Baseball. He played for the New York Yankees in 1914 and is the only major league player to have been born in China. Kingman stood at 6' 1" and weighed 165 lbs.
Harry Kingman was born in Tianjin, China, to two western missionaries. In 1899, his father became a chaplain at Pomona College, and Harry eventually attended school there, becoming a star in five sports: baseball, basketball, tennis, track, and swimming. He signed his first major league contract, with the Washington Senators, in June 1914.
Major League Baseball
Before making his major league debut, Kingman was traded to the New York Yankees. He was originally a first baseman, but manager Frank Chance attempted to convert him into a pitcher. That did not work out and Kingman eventually appeared in only one game in the field and three as a pinch hitter during July and August 1914. He went 0 for 3 at the plate with 2 strikeouts and 1 walk. Until 2016, he was the only MLB player to have been born in China. One player who debuted in 2016, Austin Brice, was born in Hong Kong in 1992. At that time Hong Kong was a colony of the United Kingdom, but was returned to China in 1997. Kingman was the only Asian-born player from any country to appear in MLB until Japanese pitcher Masanori Murakami pitched for the San Francisco Giants in 1964.
Kingman left baseball after the season was over and got a job in Stiles Hall at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1921 to 1927, he traveled to China and Japan and worked as a missionary, while also playing and coaching baseball. He returned to Berkeley in 1927. For the next 30 years, he worked at Stiles Hall and also coached the university's junior varsity baseball team.
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