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Remember the Name of King Kong.

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==The Power of the Website.==

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It was a late Summer Day in 1986. Sue Fornoff, a sportswriter, was sitting in a Press Box at the Ball Park, when she received a special delivery gift wrapped box. Naturally, this aroused the woman's curiosity, so she opened the package, and what did she find? A live rat! Some practical joke, huh?! The fact that she probably turned white as a ghost, is an understatement. In fact, the woman freaked! This woman would certainly remember the name of King Kong!

Fellow Toastmasters, and honored guests, I'm not talking about the giant gorilla the climbed the Empire State Building with Jessica Lange. I am talking about a Major League Baseball Slugger by the name of David Arthur Kingman. Now the Story of Dave Kingman is one of the worst sagas about injustice perpetrated by the Sportswriters of America on a single professional athelete.

Dave Kingman was nicknamed King Kong, probably because he was a 6'6" Giant, who could make the ball vanish into the next two galaxies, whenever he stepped up to bat at the plate. He was known to have careened the ball of the Top of the Astrodome and the Metrodome more than once in his Major League Career. One time in Chicago, he hit the ball so hard it landed on a street several blocks from the stadium. Dave Kingman put fear into the eyes of every pitcher he ever faced with his monstrous swing. But, Dave Kingman did something that all Major League Power Hitters do--he struck out a lot! Now, it is a known fact that all Major League Power Hitters strike out a lot. But, Dave Kingman, and Dave Kingman alone, was singled out and bashed by the media for striking out a lot. This pretty much happened throughout his entire Major League Carreer. It wasn't long before various Baseball Fans and Fellow Team Members began to jump on the Media's Bandwagon. I can tell you from experience, that it is no fun to be singled out.

All of this began to take its toll on the Major League Slugger, and eventually, he waged his own war against The Media. He would often get in skirmishes with various sportswriters, and even play practical jokes on various sportswriters such as dumping ice cold water over their heads. Finally, on the fateful Summer Day in 1986, Dave Kingman played his last final practical joke. Even though he finished three prosperous years with the Oakland A's, hitting 30-40 Home Runs a year for them, there was this one Female Sportswriter, Sue Fornoff, who couldn't leave well enough alone. She kept getting under Dave Kingman's skin until he had had enough! He got a live rat, gift wrapped it, and sent it to her, with a tag tied to the rat saying "My name is Sue.". This event, however, ultimately blew up in Dave Kingman's face!

A female Executive for the Oakland A's was so enraged by this, she bought an Airline Ticket to Kansas City, where the Oakland A's were playing the Royals, just to go and chew Dave Kingman out, and she did! News of this event quickly reached sportswriters all over the country, as Dave Kingman became the most despised sports figure in the eyes of American Sportswriters. Although the Oakland A's were tickled pink to have Dave Kingman on their team, it was bad publicity to hold onto the Major League Slugger any longer, so they had to let him go. And, the same mantle of bad publicity hung over the heads of any Major League Franchise who picked up on The Major League Slugger, and so is career was cut short on a sour note, as Dave Kingman found no takers. Five years later, even though he had finished as one of the Top 21 Home Run Hitters of all time, The Sportswriters of America made a pact--to slam the Cooperstown Doors in Dave Kingman's Face once and for all, and it was done, and it was done for personal reasons. Who now would remeber the Name of King Kong?

Enter the Age of the Internet, and The power of the website! Now believe it or not, Dave Kingman did have lots of fans. One of his biggest fans was a man by the name of John Kucsaj. This man watched Dave Kingman's Major League Career like a hawk. He kept track of every good play Dave Kingman ever made, and listed them by the hundreds on several web pages, categorized by Year and Season. And so in 1996, The Dave Kingman Website was born. One thing that he mentioned on the website was the fact that there were four Major League Players who struck out more then Dave Kingman did. They were Reggie Jackson, Willie Stargell, Mike Schmidt, and Tony Perez. All four men had more strikeouts in their careers than Dave kingman, and all four men reside in Baseball's Hall of Fame today. He also talked about two modern day sluggers we hear a lot about--Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. During the years, they hit all the Home Runs, they struck out during those seasons more than Dave Kingman ever struck out in a season. John Kucsaj admitted that Dave Kingman had a bad relationship with the media, but he was only mean to those who sandbagged him. To his fans who supported him, he was quite the opposite--a very nice fellow. In fact, Dave Kingman and John Kucsaj have become good friends. There is also a guestbook (a new one for every year), signed by hundreds of Dave Kingman Fans. From what I saw, everyone who signed that guestbook (except one) said that with 442 Career Home Runs, Dave Kingman belongs in Baseball's Hall of Fame. All in all, John Kucsaj has shared everthing about Dave Kingman the Media did not want us to know, and refused to devulge.

In conclusion, I hope this information I shared with you tonight, has inspired you in three ways: 1) Visit the Dave Kingman Website. This especially goes for Baseball Fans who did jump on The Media's Bandwagon. I guarantee you, you will see what you had been missing all of those years. Just go to Yahoo.com, enter Dave Kingman Website in the Search Bar, click, and it will take you right there. 2) If ever there is an inkling that someone is being sandbagged by the Media in the Same fashion Dave Kingman was, don't be so quick to jump on The Media's Bandwagon until you have all of the facts, and the "Entire Picture" in front of you. Sometimes, you have to get all of the facts on your own, the same way John Kucsaj did. For Sportswriters to single a Major League Slugger out and bash him for striking out a lot, is very poor journalism, because they are only presenting the facts that they want us to know, instead of giving us all of the facts and the entire picture which we are entitled to know. I believe there is a term for this kind of journalism--it is called Muckraking Journalism. This brings us to Number Three. 3) Take a stand against Muckraking Journalism. One of the best ways to do this is through the Power of the Website. If you have a lot of facts and concepts that contradict the views of Muckraking Journalists, form them into a website. You can also visit these websites (like the Dave Kingman Website) and sign the guestbook. Through the Power of the Website, we now have the full picture of Dave Kingman's Major League Career, the right picture, and who knows--maybe the Veteran's Committee will pick up on all of this someday.

Mr. Toastmaster.

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