Hall of Fame slugger Ralph Kiner dies at 91


RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Ralph Kiner, who slugged his
way to the baseball Hall of Fame and then enjoyed a half-century career
as a popular broadcaster, died Thursday. He was 91.
The baseball Hall of Fame said Kiner died at his home in Rancho Mirage with his family at his side.
hit 369 home runs during his 10-year career, mostly with the Pittsburgh
Pirates. He made his debut in 1946 and his power quickly became the
talk of baseball — he won or tied for the National League lead in homers
in each of his first seven seasons.
When he retired, Kiner was
sixth on the career home run list. Several years later, he joined the
broadcast crew of the New York Mets for their expansion season in 1962
and became a permanent fixture — the home TV booth at Shea Stadium was
named in his honor.
"Kiner’s Korner" was a delight for players and
fans alike, where stars would join Kiner for postgame chats. Known for
malaprops — he once even forgot his own name on air — he took the
occasional slips in stride.
Kiner had a stroke about a decade ago
but remained an occasional part of the Mets’ announcing crew. He worked a
handful of games last season, his 52th year of calling their games.
one of baseball’s most prolific power hitters for a decade, Ralph
struck fear into the hearts of the best pitchers of baseball’s Golden
Era despite his easygoing nature, disarming humility and movie-star
smile," Hall President Jeff Idelson said in a statement.
engaging personality and profound knowledge of the game turned him into a
living room companion for millions of New York Mets fans who adored his
game broadcasts and later ‘Kiner’s Korner’ for more than half a
century," he said. "He was as comfortable hanging out in Palm Springs
with his friend Bob Hope as he was hitting in front of Hank Greenberg at
Forbes Field."
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