He spent his career with seven teams in both leagues, and was known as a difficult teammate wherever he played. (One Mets teammate stated publicly that Kingman had "the personality of a tree stump"; Chicago columnist Mike Royko referred to him as "Dave Ding-Dong"). But Kingman never liked the spotlight, and just wanted to play the game and be left alone off the field. His unpredictable and often antisocial behavior, and largely one-dimensional game, led to his being regularly traded. In one three-month stretch in 1977, he was traded, waived, and had his contract sold, becoming the first player to play in four divisions in one year; he was also released after the season.