Ralph Kiner
American baseball player and announcer
Ralph Kiner
Ralph McPherran Kiner is an American former Major League Baseball player and has been an announcer for the New York Mets since the team's inception. Though injuries forced his retirement from active play after 10 seasons, Kiner's tremendous slugging outpaced nearly all of his National League contemporaries between the years 1946 and 1954. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.
Ralph Kiner's personal information overview.
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News abour Ralph Kiner from around the web
Remembering Ralph Kiner
Fox News - about 3 years
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Fox News article
Remembering Ralph Kiner -- superb slugger who touched all the bases and our hearts
Fox News - about 3 years
Ralph Kiner’s death this week leaves me saddened. I will miss him.
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Fox News article
Baseball Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner dies at 91
CBS News - about 3 years
Slugger hit 369 home runs during 10-year career, mostly with Pittsburgh Pirates: went on to become popular broadcaster
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CBS News article
A Legend At The Plate And In The Booth: Ralph Kiner Dies At 91
NPR - about 3 years
Ralph Kiner, a home run-hitting Hall of Famer who starred for the Pittsburgh Pirates and later helped define the New York Mets' broadcasts, has died at 91. He was a frequent all-star who later became a favorite of Mets fans and players. » E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us
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NPR article
Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Ralph Kiner dies at 91
Fox News - about 3 years
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Fox News article
Hall of Fame slugger Ralph Kiner dies at 91; popular player, broadcaster
Fox News - about 3 years
The baseball Hall of Fame says slugger Ralph Kiner has died.
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Fox News article
David Ortiz and the Hall of Fame
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
Due to his extraordinary World Series performance in which he hit .688 with two home runs and led his team to a decisive victory, there has been an increase in discussion about whether or not David Ortiz is a Hall of Famer. Ortiz's Hall of Fame candidacy rests on two very strong pillars. One is his consistent elite level offensive production. The other is his reputation as a great clutch hitter and post-season player. There are, however, two arguments frequently made against his candidacy: that is he a designated hitter and the rumors of steroid use that have dogged much of his career. Ortiz's offensive numbers rest on a short but impressive peak from 2003-2007 when he posted an OPS+ of 156 while averaging 42 home runs and 128 RBIs a year. These years were at the tail end of a strong offensive era, but are nonetheless impressive. After a few off-years, in 2010-2013 Ortiz hit another peak in his later years with an OPS+ of 154 while playing fewer games in an era where there is less off ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
How Lucky to Be a Pirates Fan
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
It's a great feeling being a Pirates fan these days. Pittsburgh's baseball Bucs have finally clinched a spot in the playoffs after two decades of futility that included the longest streak of consecutive losing seasons in North American professional sports history. Pirates fans are lucky to have their small-market team playing into the post season, while some wealthier, perennially successful, big market teams -- like those "damn Yankees" -- sit at home, wondering how could it be. Lucky indeed, for the playoff format allows for only 10 teams -- one in three major league franchises -- to make the cut. As a life-long Pirates fan, I do consider myself lucky that the team I root for is a winner this year. But more than that, I consider myself lucky to be a Pirates fan period. It's been a wonderful roller-coaster ride all these years, through -- as legendary sports announcer Jim McCay used to say -- "the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat". Since falling in love with the ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ralph Kiner
  • 2014
    On February 21, 2014, an online Twitter petition was started to rename Citi Field Sections 132–134 as Kiner's Korner, to commemorate the 52-year Mets career of Ralph Kiner.
    More Details Hide Details As of March 29, 2014, the petition had over 5000 followers. Kiner is survived by ex-wife, Ann Benisch (after their marriage ended in divorce), and also by sons Ralph and Scott; daughters, Kathryn Chaffee Freeman, Tracee Kiner Jansen and Kimberlee Kiner; and 12 grandchildren.
  • 2011
    Through 2011 he was one of seven major leaguers to have had at least four 30-HR, 100-RBI seasons in their first five years, along with Chuck Klein, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Mark Teixeira, Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard and Ryan Braun.
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  • 2007
    The Mets honored him with an on-field ceremony on "Ralph Kiner Night" at Shea Stadium on Saturday, July 14, 2007.
    More Details Hide Details On that night, fans were given photos of Kiner. Tom Seaver was present, giving a commemorative speech recalling Kiner's legacy. Other guests of note were Yogi Berra, Bob Feller, and broadcaster Ernie Harwell. As a present from the Mets, Kiner received a cruise of his choice.
  • 1999
    The Sporting News placed him at number 90 on its 1999 list of "The 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and he was one of the 100 finalists for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team that year.
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  • 1987
    The Pittsburgh Pirates retired his uniform number 4 on September 19, 1987.
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  • 1984
    Kiner was elected to the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1984.
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  • 1975
    Kiner was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.
    More Details Hide Details Kiner had garnered 273 votes by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, one more than the minimum required for election. It was in his final year of eligibility (his 13th, as no vote was held in 1963 and 1965), and it was the closest call possible for any player elected by the BBWAA. (He would have had a chance later with the Veteran's Committee had he not been elected by the BBWAA). Kiner was also the only player voted in that year. He attended every Hall of Fame ceremony from the time he was inducted, until his death.
    He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.
    More Details Hide Details At the time of his death, baseball writer Marty Noble named Kiner "one of baseball's genuine and most charming gentlemen". Kiner was born in Santa Rita, New Mexico, and raised in Alhambra, California. He was of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) and Scots-Irish ancestry, although his maternal grandmother was Jewish. Kiner served as a U.S. Navy pilot during World War II.
  • 1969
    Kiner was also married to Barbara (née George) Kiner, from 1969–1980; and to DiAnn (née Shugart) Kiner from 1982 until her death in 2004.
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    Nationally, he helped call the Mets' appearance in the 1969 World Series for NBC Radio.
    More Details Hide Details He won a local Emmy Award for his broadcasting work. Kiner was known for his occasional malapropisms, usually connected with getting people's names wrong, such as calling broadcasting partner Tim McCarver as "Tim MacArthur" and calling Gary Carter "Gary Cooper". He even once called himself "Ralph Korner". Despite a bout with Bell's palsy, which left him with slightly slurred speech, Kiner continued broadcasting for 53 seasons. Kiner's tenure with the Mets was the third-longest for an active broadcaster with a single team, trailing only those of Los Angeles Dodgers announcers Vin Scully (1950–2016) and Jaime Jarrín (1959–present). His traditional home run call—"It is gone, goodbye" was a signature phrase in baseball. Kiner appeared occasionally on SportsNet New York (SNY) and WPIX, which currently televise Mets games. During these visits (usually once a week), regular announcers Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling made room for Kiner as he shared stories of old-time baseball, as well as the current state of the game. During his final season (2013), he was the oldest active announcer in Major League Baseball.
  • 1961
    In 1961, Kiner entered the broadcast booth for the Chicago White Sox.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, Kiner, Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy began broadcasting the games of the expansion New York Mets on WOR-TV in New York City. The trio rotated announcing duties. Kiner also hosted a post-game show known as "Kiner's Korner" on WOR-TV.
  • 1953
    Kiner played the rest of 1953 and all of 1954 with the Cubs, finishing his career with the Cleveland Indians in 1955.
    More Details Hide Details A back injury forced him to retire at the age of 32, finishing his career with 369 home runs, 1019 runs batted in and a .279 lifetime batting average.
    On June 4, 1953, Kiner was sent to the Chicago Cubs as part of a ten-player trade.
    More Details Hide Details The Pirates traded Kiner, Joe Garagiola, George Metkovich, and Howie Pollet to the Cubs in exchange for Bob Addis, Toby Atwell, George Freese, Gene Hermanski, Bob Schultz, Preston Ward, and $150,000. This was largely due to continued salary disputes with Pirate general manager Branch Rickey, who reportedly told Kiner, "We finished last with you, we can finish last without you."
  • 1951
    Kiner was married four times; his first spouse was 1950s tennis star Nancy Chaffee, 1951 -1968.
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    A quote variously attributed to Kiner himself, as well as to teammates talking about Kiner, was "Home run hitters drive Cadillacs and singles hitters drive Fords." Footage of Kiner hitting a home run in Forbes Field can be seen in the 1951 film Angels in the Outfield.
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  • 1948
    He was selected to participate in the All-Star Game in six straight seasons, 1948 to 1953.
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  • 1947
    From 1947 to 1951, Kiner topped 40 home runs and 100 RBIs each season.
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    Greenberg gave Kiner hours of instruction, and in 1947, Kiner led the major leagues with 51 home runs while striking out fewer than 100 times.
    More Details Hide Details Many of Kiner's homers were hit into a shortened left-field and left-center-field porch at Forbes Field (originally built for Greenberg and known in the press as "Greenberg Gardens"); the porch was retained for Kiner and redubbed "Kiner's Korner". Kiner would later use "Kiner's Korner" as the title of his post-game TV show in New York. In 1949 Kiner topped his 1947 total with 54 home runs, falling just two short of Hack Wilson's then-National League record. It was the highest total in the major leagues from 1939 to 1960, and the highest National League total from 1931 to 1997. It made Kiner the first National League player with two 50 plus home run seasons. Kiner also matched his peak of 127 RBIs.
  • 1946
    Kiner made his major league debut on April 12, 1946, with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
    More Details Hide Details He finished the season with 23 home runs, but 109 strikeouts. After the season, the Pirates convinced future Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg not to retire.
    Though injuries forced his retirement from active play after 10 seasons, Kiner's tremendous slugging outpaced all of his National League contemporaries between the years 1946 and 1952.
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    An outfielder, Kiner played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, and Cleveland Indians from 1946 through 1955.
    More Details Hide Details He also served as an announcer for the New York Mets from the team's inception until his death.
  • 1922
    Born on October 27, 1922.
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