Thursday, February 6, 2014

In Memoriam: Ralph Kiner

1950 Bowman
Hall of Fame outfielder passed away earlier today at the age of 91.  He spent his career mostly with the Pittsburgh Pirates that began in 1946 and ended in 1955.  He led the league in home runs for seven straight seasons from 1946 to 1952 and was six time All Star, all the while playing in Pittsburgh.  Kiner fishished his career with 369 home runs and 1,105 that enabled him to be elected in baseball Hall of Fame in 1975 and to have his uniform number 4 retired in Pittsburgh.
Kiner's successes was partially contributed to fellow Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg,  During Greenberg's only season as a Pirate and final one overall in the majors, he gave Kiner instruction in becoming a better hitter.  Kiner's home run and strikeout numbers improved subsequently after Greenberg's tutoring.  Kiner was also aided by a short left fence in old Forbes Field that became known as "Kiner's Korner".
Kiner is also famously known to author the quote, "Home run hitters drive Cadillacs, while singles hitters drive Fords."
He finished his career after short stays with the Indians and Cubs before embarking on a second career in baseball.  He was hired to become an announcer for the expansion New York Mets team in 1962.  He stayed in the Met broadcast booth through the 2013 season with his later years in a more limited capacity. 
Ralph Kiner was a true baseball legend and lifer and will be missed. 

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