Ray King, who not coincidentally has the same last name as the man we are celebrating today, is a former relief pitcher who pitched for six different teams from 1999 to 2008. He pitched in 577 games, and had a 20-23 record, a 3.42 ERA and 276 strikeouts. Despite pitching in a relief role for so long, he only amassed two saves in his career. However, he did have 130 holds.
The best season of King’s career came in 2004, when he was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. That season, King had a 5-2 record and a 2.41, while setting a career high in holds with 32. He was particularly dominant in the beginning of the year, as he had a streak of 30 consecutive scoreless innings from May to July. He continued to give the Cardinals a reliable bullpen arm in the bullpen, where the Cardinals made it all the way to the World Series — King’s first and only appearance in the Fall Classic.
King played his last ever game on April 23, 2008. In his twelve games that season as a member of the Washington Nationals, he had a woeful 5.68 ERA. He was assigned to AAA Columbus, but refused the assignment and declared free agency instead. This turned out to be a poor decision, as he was unable to find a home after that.
King will most likely be remembered for his large frame, earning himself the nickname “Burger King.” While that may not be the most admirable way to be remembered, it’s better than to not be remembered at all.