"Crew Chief - 5/4/84 Kingman GRD"
I sent a request to Jim Evans asking him to tell the story on a baseball about the time when Dave Kingman hit a ball that got stuck in the Metrodome ceiling and this is what I received:
"With 2 outs in the 4th inning, Dave Kingman of the A's
hit a high fly ball that never came down."
"The ball was hit between 1st and 2nd. The Minnesota pitcher Frank Viola was staring at the roof waiting for the ball."
"It disappeared into one of the vent holes in the secondary roof. Estimated at 186 feet. I ruled a ground rule double."
"Before the game started the next day- a worker dropped a ball onto the field. It was dropped by Mickey Hatcher."
Here is an article on the event from The Sporting News:
Score Another First for Oakland's 'Sky King'
by: KIT STIER, The Sporting News
May 4, 1984
MINNEAPOLIS--Dave Kingman is the first man to make contact with the ceiling of the Astrodome in Houston. The ball he hit foul off the roof, 208 feet above home plate, was autographed and sent to the hall of fame in 1972 or '73, he can't remember which. A towering drive by Kingman in Montreal resulted in bright red foul stripes being painted across the overhanging roof of Olympic Stadium. Now, Sky King, as Minnesota Twins manager Billy gardener has named the Oakland A's slugger, has become the first player to reach the 187-foot ceiling in the Metrodome in fair territory. With two out in the third inning May 4, Frank Viola of the Twins sent a low fastball Kingman's way. Kingman hit it up, up, up and right through a seven-inch-wide drainage hole in the first layer of the roof. The Twins' infielders gathered near the mound and peered skyward. Shortstop Houston Jimenez covered his head, fearing he might be bopped by a falling object. "It was like a rocket going off," said Twins second baseman Tim Teufel. "I was waiting for it to come down through the atmosphere. I knew it had to land near the pitcher's mound somewhere." Umpire crew chief Jim Evans declared the drive a roof-rule double. A's manager Steve Boros said a ground rule--make that a sky rule--about a ball being lost in the roof never had been discussed. "That's like a hole-in-one in my book," said Twins first baseman Mickey Hatcher. Kingman had never been to the Metrodome before. He called the place a "hitter's paradise, an unbelieveable hitter's park," He proved that later in the game by hitting his 11th homer of the season, a drive to left center off Ron Davis. The next day, a stadium official tried to retrieve the ball that was lodged in the roof, but couldn't reach the real one. So he dropped a substitute through the hole and Hatcher dropped it. "Hit my leg," Hatcher said. "I didn't even get my glove on it. I felt so dumb."