Ralph Kiner Dies, Ralph Kiner, the slugging Hall of Fame outfielder who spent more than 50 years as a beloved broadcaster for the New York Mets, died Thursday at his at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 91.
The six-time All-Star hit 369 home runs during a 10-year career that lasted from 1946 to 1955. His best years came as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, for whom he led the National League in homers seven straight years. He was named to the Sporting News MLB All-Star in 1947, 1949, 1950 and 1951 and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting five times.
Kiner, who had brief stints with the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, led the NL in OPS three times and finished his career with a slash line of .279/.398/.548. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975, his fifteenth time on the ballot. The Pirates retired his No. 4 in 1987.
Ralph Kiner was one of the greatest sluggers in National League history, leading the Senior Circuit in home runs in each of the first seven years of his Hall of Fame career,” commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. “His consistent power and patience in the heart of the Pirates lineup made him a member of our All-Century Team and, in many respects, a player ahead of his time.
Despite his exploits as a player, he is better known to generations of fans for his decades as a member of the Mets broadcast crew. He joined 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.