Skip to content

Ralph Kiner: 1922-2014

Feb 6, 2014, 3:46 PM EST

Ralph Kiner Getty Getty Images

Sad news to pass along this afternoon, as Hall of Fame outfielder and broadcasting legend Ralph Kiner has passed away. He was 91 years old.

A feared slugger, Kiner had a storied and brief playing career, compiling a .279/.398/.548 batting line and 369 home runs over 10 seasons between the Pirates, Cubs, and Indians. A six-time All-Star, he either led or tied for the National League lead in home runs for each of his first seven seasons (1946-1952) in the majors. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975.

Back injuries forced Kiner into early retirement at 32 years old, but he soon created a whole new legion of fans as a broadcaster. While he began his broadcasting career in 1961 with the White Sox, he’s best known as one of the voices of the Mets. He was there at the inception of the franchise in 1962 along with Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy and became an institution, beloved for his wit, storytelling ability, and occasional flubs. His “Kiner’s Korner” post-game show on WOR-TV was iconic and the site of many classic moments.

Kiner was a big part of my fan experience as a child and it was still a treat to see him stop by the SNY booth in recent years. While he was getting older, he was just as sharp as ever. He’ll be dearly missed.

Here’s a statement from Mets chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon:

“Ralph Kiner was one of the most beloved people in Mets history — an original Met and extraordinary gentleman. After a Hall of Fame playing career, Ralph became a treasured broadcasting icon for more than half a century. His knowledge of the game, wit, and charm entertained generations of Mets fans. Like his stories, he was one of a kind. We send our deepest condolences to Ralph’s five children and 12 grandchildren. Our sport and society today lost one of the all-time greats.”

Latest Posts
  1. Jimmy Rollins writes goodbye message to Philadelphia after trade to Dodgers

    Dec 20, 2014, 11:01 AM EST

    Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

    Rollins was officially traded from the Phillies to the Dodgers yesterday in exchange for right-hander Zach Eflin and left-hander Tom Windle.

  2. Trea Turner’s agent is unhappy his client is in limbo after trade to Nationals

    Dec 20, 2014, 9:59 AM EST

    Nationals cap logo

    As part of this week’s three-team Wil Myers trade, the Nationals acquired right-hander Joe Ross and a player to be named later. However, the player to be named later isn’t a mystery. It’s shortstop prospect Trea Turner, who is now in limbo after the trade.

  3. Chase Utley wants to go down with Phillies’ sinking ship

    Dec 19, 2014, 11:30 PM EST

    Chase Utley AP AP

    Chase Utley plans to wear Phillies red until his contract runs out.

  4. Padres expected to host 2016 All-Star Game at Petco Park

    Dec 19, 2014, 10:25 PM EST

    Petco Park

    Everything’s coming up Padres lately.

  5. Dodgers release Brian Wilson

    Dec 19, 2014, 9:31 PM EST

    Brian Wilson Getty Getty Images

    Brian Wilson and his beard are back on the free agent market after the Dodgers released him on Friday.

  6. Red Sox sign Craig Breslow to $2 million deal

    Dec 19, 2014, 9:20 PM EST

    Craig Breslow Getty Getty Images

    The Red Sox have brought back lefty Craig Breslow on a one-year deal for $2 million.

  7. Wil Myers could play center field for the Padres

    Dec 19, 2014, 8:15 PM EST

    wil myers getty Getty Images

    The Padres’ outfield should hit a lot of homers in 2015, but they may give back a lot of those runs on defense.

  8. Orioles hire hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh

    Dec 19, 2014, 7:10 PM EST

    orioles logo

    The Orioles have settled on a new hitting coach: Scott Coolbaugh.

  9. Giants acquire Casey McGehee from the Marlins

    Dec 19, 2014, 6:05 PM EST

    casey mcgehee getty Getty Images

    The Giants are looking to solve their third base dilemma with Casey McGehee.

  10. Report: David Ross to sign with the Cubs

    Dec 19, 2014, 5:18 PM EST

    David Ross Getty Images

    Jon Lester now has a personal catcher.

  11. More from the underbelly of the A-Rod Conspiracy Industrial Complex

    Dec 19, 2014, 4:47 PM EST

    Alex Rodriguez Getty Getty Images

    All baseball moves the Yankees make must be construed as pro-A-Rod or anti-A-Rod. There are literally no other reasons the Yankees make baseball moves.

  12. Baseball will lobby to have Congress exempt minor leaguers from the Fair Labor Standards Act

    Dec 19, 2014, 3:25 PM EST

    Minor League baseball

    Minor League Baseball’s top lobbyist wants minor leaguers classified as if they were babysitters and seasonal farm workers.

  13. A’s release Nick Punto, eat $2.75 million

    Dec 19, 2014, 3:10 PM EST

    Nick Punto AP

    He’s owed $2.75 million for 2015.

  14. If you ever wanted to make “Darryl Strawberry money” now you can. Quite literally.

    Dec 19, 2014, 2:30 PM EST

    New York Mets Getty Images

    It’s complicated. But you can bid on his deferred compensation, payable by the Mets.

  15. Pirates sign Corey Hart

    Dec 19, 2014, 2:14 PM EST

    Corey Hart Getty Getty Images

    Hart was one of the best right-handed power hitters in baseball for the Brewers from 2010-2012.

  16. The Padres have given their fans something to talk about. Which is badly needed in San Diego.

    Dec 19, 2014, 1:30 PM EST

    A.J. Preller AP

    The Padres have made a flurry of moves in the past few days. It may help them win some more baseball games. But it will undeniably fire up a fan base that has had nothing to get excited about for years.

  17. Phillies “kicking the tires” on Rafael Furcal

    Dec 19, 2014, 1:13 PM EST

    Rafael Furcal Rafael Furcal

    Furcal is actually a year older than Jimmy Rollins at 37 and hasn’t been healthy since 2012

Featured video

Cubs shore up rotation with Jon Lester
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. W. Myers (4586)
  2. M. Kemp (3665)
  3. M. Cabrera (2881)
  4. J. Kang (2613)
  5. M. Morse (2580)
  1. J. Upton (2513)
  2. A. Rios (2206)
  3. C. Headley (2171)
  4. W. Middlebrooks (2134)
  5. C. McGehee (1955)