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With The Passing Of Ralph Kiner, All Three Original Mets Broadcasters Are Now Deceased
The Mets original three broadcasters are all gone now. Ralph Kiner called his final out Thursday at the age of 91. Before the era of shtick home runs calls and phony personalities, Kiner gave baseball fans the real thing – himself.
Kiner hit 369 home runs for the Pirates, Cubs and Indians. He led the National League seven consecutive times from 1946 through 1952. Kiner was way more than just a baseball guy. He hung out with Hollywood legends Bing Cosby, Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope. He even dated ‘50s and ‘60s sex symbol, Elizabeth Taylor.
Despite having a few beers with Hollywood elite and playing alongside baseball royalty, Kiner could relate to the average baseball fan. Kiner had the knack of telling a story during a game, like he was sitting on his back porch talking to his kids or grandchildren.
Following baseball, the World War II veteran and Hall of Famer, embarked on a broadcasting career that lasted over 40 years. After one season in the Chicago White Sox broadcast booth, Kiner joined Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy for the expansion New York Mets in 1962 – and he never left their hearts. Nelson had the worst pastel jackets, you could feel the pain and joy of every win and loss in Murphy’s voice, and then there was Ralph.
He never got too high or too low.
He called the game as a true broadcasting professional.
He never used his weight as a Hall-of Fame player in his profession.
He never told his broadcast teammates that he knows more than them because he “played the game.”
Respectful, honest and humble best describe Kiner, but he also had a sense of humor and would often laugh at himself. Particularly, during his popular post-game show, “Kiner’s Korner,” Ralph had some of his best laughs with players. On a few occasions, he called Gary Carter “Gary Cooper” – the famous actor from ‘20s through the ‘60s. Mookie Wilson was sitting alongside Carter and starting giggling like a second-grader.
Some other hysterical moments include:
“His saves are all in relief…”
“On Father’s Day, we again wish you all a Happy Birthday.”
“Oquendo rounds second, Oquendo picks the ball up in right, and Oquendo has a stand-up double…”
Thanks, Ralph for the memories, and when you pass through the Pearly Gates of Heaven, I hope Gary Cooper and Gary Carter are there for the last “Kiner’s Korner.”
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