Saying goodbye to a slugger

Ralph Kiner

Baseball fans say goodbye to Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, who passed away at the age of 91 due to natural causes. Fans are invited to share their condolences and special memories in the comments below.

During his 10-year career, Kiner hit 369 home runs, winning or sharing the National League home run title in each of his first seven seasons with the Pirates. He twice topped 50 home runs, with 51 in 1947 and 54 in 1949. He averaged more than 100 RBI per season. Following his playing career, which was cut short by continuing back ailments, Kiner transitioned to the broadcast booth starting in 1962, where he would become a New York broadcast icon for the Mets.

“All of us at the Pittsburgh Pirates have heavy hearts upon learning of Ralph Kiner’s passing,” said Pirates President Frank Coonelly. “Ralph was one of the greatest players to ever wear a Pirates uniform and was a tireless ambassador for the game of baseball. He was a treasured member of the Pittsburgh community during his seven years with the Pirates. Our heartfelt sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to his children, grandchildren, other family members and many friends. He will be missed by all of us at the Pirates organization.”

Ralph Kiner“Ralph Kiner was one of the most beloved people in Mets history — an original Met and extraordinary gentleman,” said Mets Chairman Fred Wilpon. “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.”

“With the passing of Ralph Kiner, the baseball world has lost one of its greatest ambassadors and the Hall of Fame has lost a wonderful friend,” said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “Ralph spent eight decades as a player, executive and broadcaster. He was a man who truly loved our National Pastime and made it better in every way. His legacy will live forever in Cooperstown.”

Please share your thoughts below.

186 Comments

As a child before Sportsphone and internet use I would run in the house warm up the tv and see if the Mets won just by seeing the guests on Kiner’s Korner. The only player that would refuse to come on Ralph’s show was Dick Allen. Fascinating fact about Ralph was not about his baseball career but his Date with Elizabeth Taylor. Funny story involves Ralph’s Sons who wanted to make a LETS GO METS banner. They took a bed sheet and some spray paint. The banner read LETS GO METS as well as the kitchen floor underneath. Ralph scrubbed that floor and it never came off.Great memorie of kiners Korner on September 24th 1969. Tug McGraw wearing a jockey helmet intoxicated co-hosting Kiner’s Korner after first division Championship.Also that same season having Nancy Seaver as a guest on the show after her Husband’s near perfect game against the Cubs. Signature statement “IF YOU CAN”T MAKE IT OUT TO THE BALLGAME HOPE TO SEE YOU RIGHT BACK OUT THERE!”

I grew up on the Dodgers, but Ralph and the crew made it easy for me to listen to the Mets and root for them right from the beginning, and I did not have to stay up all night listening to the Dodgers from Calif. I miss hearing his voice.

I went to Pittsburgh for the first time this year and I saw the confluence of the Monogahela and Allegheny Rivers and thought of all the time I hear Ralph Kiner speak of it. He, Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson are the voices I hear in my Mets memories (all due respect to the present crew). I told my son the Branch Rickey story just the other day. I don’t even need to explain that to most of you because you all know which one I mean. I can picture the Kiner’s Korner set (although it is driving me crazy because I can’t remember the theme song). I became a baseball fan watching the Mets in the early 1970s and so he helped raise me as a baseball fan. I will always treasure the memories he provided me.

Remembering Kiners corners “Foamy’s famous faces “?He was a class act with a wonderful sense of humour.

I grew up a devout Mets fan and the voices of Ralph, Bob and Lindsey were a big part of my life. I would watch entire games, sometimes doubleheaders, AND of course, Kiner’s Korner. Ralph’s announcing style wasn’t polished, but it was certainly charming and filled with interesting and entertaining snippets of Ralph’s experiences. Even through all of those lackluster years for the Mets, I loyally listened to the three best baseball announcers ever.

Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner. Simply the Best!!!!!

Ralph was the best ,I am 57 to be and my Dad and myself would watch Kiners Korner all the time. A lot of fantastic memories. God bless Ralph and my Father.

I remember as a kid looking forward to Kiner’s Korner, one of the first sports show that would allow you to hear the players perspective of the game live. Made feel closer to the player and team. loved his stories, times changes
but will miss an old friend,

Can’t say it better than that

RICHARD U HIT THAT STORY ABOUT RALPH KINER WAS RIGHT ON THE MONEY I HAVE ANOTHER STORY ABOUT RALPH. THE METS WERE PLAYING IN CHICAGO AGAINST THE CUBS. THERE WERE A LOT OF RAIN DELAYS. I THINK GARY COHEN WAS THE OTHER ANNOUNCER. THEY WERE RUNNING OUT OF STORIES TO TALK ABOUT. RALPH TOLD GARY HE COULD RECITE CASEY AT THE BAT IN IT’S ENTIRETY. WELL RALPH RECITED THE ENTIRE POEM BY ROTE. HE DID NOT MISS A WORD AND HE LOVED IT. GARY WAS STUNNED. RALPH WAS A CLASS ACT AND HE LOVED BASEBALL. YES I AM 66 AND I ALSO REMEMBER RALPH TALKING TO THE STAR OF THE GAME. DO U REALIZE THEY ONLY GOT PAID 50 DOLLARS. HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED. THEY EGOS ARE TOO BIG TODAY. DID U KNOW THEY NAMED THE BOOTH AFTER RALPH. IT IS NOW CALLED THE RALPH KINER BOOTH. WHAT AN HONOR. I THINK THE METS WILL WIN 85 GAMES THIS YEAR/. RALPH KINER WHAT A BALL PLAYER ,WHAT AN ANNOUNCER,WHAT A MAN. THEY DON’T MAKE THEM LIKE RALPH ANYMORE. RALPH KINER A CLASS ACT ALL THE TIME. U CAN BUY A PIN THAT HAS A MICROPHONE ON IT AT LITTLE SHEA. U SEE I STILL CALL IT SHEA. THE RALPH KINER BOOTH.

RALPH KINER WAS ONE OF A KIND. A GREAT BASEBALL PLAYER. GENTLEMAN. AN ORIGINAL MET. HIS NUMBER SHOULD BE RETIRED ON THE OUTFIELD WALL ALONG WITH THE OTHER IMMORTALS. I READ A STORY. THE METS WERE IN CHICAGO. IN ONE OF THOSE RAINFALLS THAT NEVER END. RALPH KINER RECITED THE ENTIRE CASEY AT THE BAT POEM AND NEVER MISSED A WORD. THAT WAS THE BEAUTY OF THE MAN. IN LIFE AS IN BASEBALL HE ALWAYS CAPTURED THE MOMENT THAT WAS. A CLASSY PERSON BASEBALL AND LIFE WILL NEVER MEET AGAIN. GOD COULD NOT BE EVERYWHERE SO HE CREATED RALPH KINER TO CARRY ON WITH THE GREAT TRADITION OF BASEBALL AND GENTLEMAN EVERYWHERE. THANK U RALPH FROM MET FANS EVERYWHERE. AND GOD BLESS

God Bless Ralph may he look after him as he did us.

Mr. Di Como:
After Ralph’s playing days were over, wasn’t he a General Manager in the Pacific Coast League for a while before he became a broadcaster for the Mets?
Thanks,
John

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Ralph Kiner was a funny announcer for all Mets Fans like me.

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The Kiner’s Korner shows with Tom Seaver and sometimes his wife were the best. Even my Mom enjoyed them

As an Original Met Fan this season missed Ralph. The future Met fans will never hear his stories or how he could use comparisons of the Kids today to the players of the past. Kiner’s Korner was what a Post Game show was all about. How lucky a man was I to have spent these years listening to Ralph. God Bless you and keep you always Ralph Kiner and thank you from all of us who were so lucky to share our time on earth with you.

I’ve been a Met fan since the beginning. Ralph, Bob and Lindsey were a big part of my life. Despite the last six years, and many other losing years, I will always be part of that era,.

Thanks Ralph for all the great memories.

As a 12 year old boy in an orphanage in St Johns Newfoundland Canada in 1947 Ralph became my boyhood baseball hero. I loved him an followed his career as he led the NL in HRs 7 years in a row. I was heart broken when he was traded.I have been a Pirate and still am for 68 yrs and I feel Ralph is up there looking down cheering for Pirates as I am. Thank God and Ralph for the memories

Ralph’s Kiner’s Korner brought the stars of the game & of the era into our living rooms such as Gil Hodges, Duke Snyder, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Pete Rose, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Ron Hunt, Willie Stargell, Willie McCovey, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Roberto Clemente, Johnny Bench,Maury Wills, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Gary Carter, Mike Piazza, Ron Darling, Syd Fernandez, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Mike Schmidt, Richie Allen, Rusty Staub, Tug McGraw, David Wright & countless other Mets and opposing team stars. Thanks for the memories Ralph / RIP.

I grew up watching Ralph Kiner play left field for my beloved Pirates–Actually met him, Frank Gustine, and the legendary Honus Wagner one sunny afternoon at Forbes Field. Ralph was my idol and I loved hearing Rosy tell Aunt Minnie to open the window for another Kiner homer—-So sad to hear of his demise but, he had a great life as a player and announcer—RIP Mr Kiner

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I often wonder what it would be like to go back in time forty years ago. I was a Met fan living in Brooklyn….it is late June, Sunday afternoon, 1 pm….Mets doubleheader on WOR-TV. The smell of homemade sauce for Sunday dinner filling the house as I listen to Ralph Kiner, along with Lindsay Nelson and Bob Murphy broadcasting the game…”take me back to a world gone away, childhood memories seem like yesterday”

I’m guessing it was actually called “gravy,” as it was in my house!

That could have been my house as well! Great memories…

I grew up listening to Ralph Kiner call the Met games. What a joy! His insight into the game, his wonderful stories and his wit and charm will stay with me always!

When i heard the news that Ralph Kiner had passed away it was so very sad. As a kid born in 1962 i have such fond memories of listening to Ralph, Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy. the 1969 year of course was the best for me growing up in Staten Island. I could not wait to turn on the game watching the families black and white television and see all my heroes up close. Ralph was such a true mets fan and even listening to him when he did one inning announcing games last year you could tell how excited he would get when the mets would score runs. Kiners Korner was by far the best post game. Going over all the great plays of the game. Ill never forget. Thank you Ralph Kiner for the great memories. You are sorely missed.

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