|Hometown:||King of Prussia, PA|
John W. King '79
Hometown: King of Prussia, PA
Year Inducted: 1984
Other Sports Played: Football
It would not be stretching credibility too far to say that John W. King '79 was a smashing success at Brown. That's largely because in his four-year baseball career, the native of King of Prussia, Pa., smashed no less than nineteen Bruin baseball records. To go into the entire list would take up the rest of this brief profile. But here are some of the major ones: most hits season (47) and career (152), most home runs season (14) and career (32), most extra base hits career (64), most total bases season (98) and career (288), highest batting average season (.495) and career (.369), and most runs batted in game (eight) and career (111). "John King is the best player I've ever had," Coach Woody Woodworth said in 1979. "He's not flashy, but he can hit the ball better than anybody around. He can be fooled on a pitch, but his reflexes are so quick, so concise, that he can still hit the ball out of the park." John King was not the sort of player who dove for grounders in the hole and threw people out from a kneeling position. And he didn't stretch doubles into triples with head first slides. He was just your run-of-the-mill fantastic college baseball player. The 5-10, 195-pounder hit homers in 57.1 percent of his games, the best mark in the country. And he had an attitude that accentuated the team and minimized the individual. "He was a real All-American boy if there ever was one," says Coach Woodworth. John King played soccer until he reached the seventh grade. Then he had to decide between soccer and football. "I remember the first time I carried the ball in seventh grade," he once said. "I went up the gut 60 yards for a touchdown and I just wanted to keep doing it." At Upper Marion High he was captain of both football and baseball and was MVP in each sport. He also played three years of basketball, where he was known as "the enforcer." He was co-captain of the freshman football team at Brown, and as a sophomore he came off the bench to score the key touchdown in the important victory over Harvard. But baseball was his game. In a doubleheader against Northeastern in 1979, King hit a pair of home runs in each game. Two of the drives cleared the left field wall, which is 349 feet from the plate, with one bounding off a house across the street and the other clearing a three-family home and landing in the back yard, some 500 feet from the plate.