Ralph Kiner 1 (BARON)

Ralph Kiner passes away

Longtime Mets broadcast Ralph Kiner has passed away. He was 91.

Kiner started broadcasting Mets games in 1962 on WOR-TV, alongside Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy. Kiner has continued calling Mets games up through the 2013 season, making occasional appearances on SNY. He also hosted “Kiner’s Korner” after Mets home games, interviewing players and coaches.

His broadcasting career came after a 10-year playing career with the Pirates, Cubs and Indians. He hit 369 home runs in his career, including a 54 home run season with Pittsburgh in 1949. He led Major League Baseball in home runs from 1947 through 1952.

Kiner was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975, elected into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1984. His number, 4, was retired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1987.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

He was an outstanding player. But, I’m a Mets fan in large part because of how Kiner and Tim McCarver explained the game on WOR-TV in the 80s. They narrated my love affair with baseball and the ups and downs of this franchise. Kiner, in particular, made the game romantic, telling stories that combined baseball and Hollywood in a way I never knew existed. He made me feel like, as a young fan, I was part of a legacy. He talked about hitting, technique, race, life on the road, personalities, aging, success and failure, and everything in between. He shaped a lot of how I look at the game on field. I’m not alone. He had this impact on others, and in that way he’ll live on forever…

Michael Baron, Contributor

This is a sad day for Mets fans. Ralph was very much a part of our lives, as his eloquence, style and voice were synonymous with Mets games for more than 50 years. He was an institution in the industry, as he set standards for everyone who followed in his footsteps, both with the Mets and with other teams around professional sports. I always enjoyed listening to his voice, his stories and how he integrated them into the game he was broadcasting. He was funny, charming and dramatic all at the same time, and his knowledge of the game was like none other in the business. I – like many of you – grew up with Ralph, and I always felt like he was holding my hand as I watched any given game.

I often forget about Ralph’s baseball career, but for a 10-year stretch he was one of the most dominant power hitters in baseball and easily one of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history. He was forced to retire at 32 as a result of a back injury. Perhaps his short, yet dominant playing career was serendipitous for the New York Mets. I am thankful for Ralph, and he will always be a big part of my memories of the Mets.


To watch SNY’s Kiner’s Korner Revisited from 2010, when Ted Berg sat with Ralph to watch old episodes and talk about the game, click here

For thoughts from the Mets, SNY, and former players on the passing of Kiner, click here...

SNY:

“Ralph Kiner was a giant in every sense of the word.   His impact on Mets fans over 52 years in the booth is immeasurable.   We will not only miss his insights and knowledge of the game, but more importantly, his engaging personality and huge heart.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Kiner family.”

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 twelve grandchildren. Our sport and society today lost one of the all-time greats.”

Tom Seaver:

“He was a jewel. He loved the game of baseball. He loved to see it played correctly and smartly. He loved to talk baseball. He deeply understood the game, especially hitting. “

Rusty Staub:

“He was my broadcast partner for 10 years. We had great fun during the games. We both enjoyed good food and wine. Most of all, he was one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met.”

Al Jackson:

“He was a player’s guy. We didn’t win a lot in those days. He didn’t try to hide the fact we were losing, but he did it in a nice way. I lost a lot of games in 1962 and 1963 and had no problem going on with him.”

Ron Swoboda:

“In those days we didn’t have hitting coaches. I was struggling. One September afternoon in 1969 (September 15), I asked him to come and feed balls through the pitching machine. We talked for about an hour. He gave me tips on holding the bat. That night I had the greatest night of my career. I hit two home runs off Steve Carlton and we won, 4-3.“ (Swoboda’s two two-run home runs accounted for all Mets runs on the night Carlton struck out 19).

Dwight Gooden:

“I loved going on Kiner’s Korner. I enjoyed talking baseball with Ralph, especially learning about players from his era. But what really made it special was every time you went on, you got a $100. For a rookie like me in 1984, a $100 was a big deal.”

Howie Rose:

“Losing Ralph is like losing a member of the family. His warmth, humility and sense of humor will be missed. I’ll always treasure being able to share a broadcast booth with a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word.”




128 comments
Joe De Sr.
Joe De Sr.

Ralph Kiner belongs in the Hall of Fame of life! I always muted the TV during the game so not to listen to Keith and Ron talk about everything but the game in progress.the exception was when R.Kiner came into the booth. He was someone U had to listen to!! God Bless you, Ralph Kiner!!!!!!

Malcolm Harper
Malcolm Harper

As a die hard mets fan I always loved watching the mets baseball games with Ralph Kiner and Tim McCarver on channel 9 especially kiners korner when i was a child with my dad and brother. Its a sad day I felt like a piece of my childhood just been ripped out of my body but at the same time its a celebration of a true mets iconic figure. I know that him Bob Murphy and Lindsy Nelson are all sitting in a booth in heaven waiting to call a mets game when april come. RIP You will be missed 



mjb84
mjb84

I am as as old as the Mets, so I had the great good fortune of listening to Ralph, Murph and Lindsey growing up. Ralph taught me so much about baseball. He could talk about the legends of his era and before. He could easily explain fundamentals and make strategy clear. You might almost root for a rain delay because you knew you would get an extra installment of Kiner's Korner. 


Back then baseball and radio broadcasts were conversations to listen to. Now, they often seem like power point presentations.


Thank you Ralph and Rest In Peace.


Mike Burke 

kevin55
kevin55

While watching Kiners Korner i always had a warm and comfortable feeling. I remember the anticipation leading up to it after watching the game.  Ralph Kiner was like having a super cool uncle explain everything to me in an easygoing and fun manner. Just hearing him speak brought me into a comfort zone, as if  i were hanging out with a trusted family member. I will never forget all of his "Kinerisms" either. Such a great man who had a fulfilling life. I will truly miss you Mr. Kiner. Thank you and God Bless. Rest In Peace.

garya
garya

I've been listening to Ralph since 1962.   It's hard to believe in

a new season without his voice.  And yes to Kiner's Korner!

Rest in Peace Ralph    you were one of a kind!!!! U will always be missed!!!!! God Speed!!!!

whistler127
whistler127

Now that is a great idea! KINER'S KORNER!

baseballnblues
baseballnblues

Ralph Kiner was a class act all the way. I'm sure any fan of the Mets will miss him, particularly those of us who grew up watching and listening to him broadcast the Mets and Kiner's Korner. I remember looking forward to watching him do those few and far between games on WOR because he made me comfortable and always taught me something. Baseball lost a legend today. Godspeed Mr. Kiner!

ken1010
ken1010

Kiner's Korner taught me how to turn a double play (thanks Felix Millan) and how to through a forkball (thanks Danny Friscella) or at least I could throw one with a tennis ball. I never missed it when I was a young teen in the early 70's. Thanks Ralph.

And when I coached my son's Little League team on infield footwork, I could only do it thanks to Ralph and Kiner's Korner. Thanks Ralph.

Bill Florian
Bill Florian

God Bless you Ralph...50 years of listening to you do NY Mets Baseball games. Original broadcasters Lindsay Nelson, Bob Murphy, and now with Ralph's passing...there are none. Such fond memories of his post game Kiner's Korner.

1harris1
1harris1

What a class act he was.  I can't remember ever seeing or hearing about Ralph "big timing" anybody, even given the tremendous playing career he had.  And as an announcer, he was a lot of fun to listen to (it was hilarious how he would mispronounce names and confuse players.  I remember how he would often refer to Mookie Wilson as Hubie Brooks, and vice versa).  Although he'll always be linked with Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy, I thought his best work came when he was paired with Tim McCarver.  That was a great broadcasting tandem to listen to, especially when the Mets were good during the mid to late 80's.  And of course, every player wanted to be on "Kiner's Korner".


He will be missed.





Keith Matos
Keith Matos

Wow, this is so sad although I know he would not want you to feel that way. I am 42 years old and I can't tell you how many times he and Murphy would put me to sleep at night even when I was supposed to be sleeping hours earlier. I think what I loved more than anything was his great stories. He made you feel like you were truly part of the game. His memory of all the details of stories and games was amazing. I feel like I am losing a family member. I know I speak for many people when I say how grateful we are that he let us be part of his life and our Met family. What a true legend we lost today. Best wishes to his family. Thank you Mr.Kiner for making all of our lives more enjoyable.  

Muhammad Qureshi
Muhammad Qureshi

Kiner patch on arm of every uniform for Mets in 2014, no question. MLB should consider patch on every uniform as well.

jlga
jlga

The only 5 players to average 100 RBIs for every year they were in the major leagues:

Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Jeff Bagwell and Ralph Kiner.

Pretty good company.

fourwedges
fourwedges

Nothing cooler then a guy who is accomplished and is comfortable in his own skin.

You lived a great life Ralph Kiner!

r_in_ct
r_in_ct

I want to be sad, but Ralph would be the first to tell you he lived a helluva great life—Hall of Famer, iconic broadcast career, distinguished veteran, dated Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Elizabeth Taylor AND Ava Gardner.


Legend doesn't begin to sum it up. RIP, Ralph!

Howard McDonald
Howard McDonald

Ralph Kiner was & is Mets baseball. It will never be the same without him. RIP.

MetsFan1962
MetsFan1962

Ralph, thank you for all of the great stories you told over the years. If the Mets do things right....you should be memorialized by having a section in CitiField named in your honor. . .Thanks again for your 50+ years of service as a Mets broadcaster. .

Peter Loibl
Peter Loibl

Truly a sad day ... I remember hitting the baseball around in my back yard, and then pretending I was interviewed on Kiner's Korner. There was just something about his demeanor, and I love when his voice jumped an octave when he excitedly yelped "GONE GOODBYE!!" ... RIP Ralph, I grew up listening to your entertaining, warm coverage of my favorite team. You will be missed!

Jack Finn
Jack Finn

May have been the biggest Mets fan ever. RIP

fedupfan13
fedupfan13

How about the Jackie Robinson/Ralph Kiner rotunda

doubtful
doubtful

Truly the end of an era.   As one who listened to Lindsay, Bob, and Ralph on cheap transistor radios and black and white tin foil on the antenna televisions, who fondly remembers Ralph not only for KIner's Korner and Mets broadcasts but for his appearances on Bowling for Dollars on channel 9, I say, "We'll miss you big guy.   Cadillacs are down at the end of the bat, indeed."  Rest in peace, friend.

gloveman
gloveman

Yogi, Casey, Ralph Kiner.  Ralph was one of the great baseball characters in addition to being the great ballplayer and broadcaster.  My brother and I would always enjoy and joke about the Kinerisms we learned to love over the years. Calling Gary Carter, Gary Cooper almost every time was one of those Kinerisms that comes to mind right off the top of my head. A big loss for sure, but glad to have grown up with him and the Mets. 

Joseph Grillo
Joseph Grillo

Ralph Kiner-along with Lindsey Nelson  and Bob Murphy -in addition to Tom Seaver , Rusty Staub, Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and my father are the primary reasons I am a Met fan-you will be missed-RIP

1metfan
1metfan

Thanks for the memories Ralph, You will be missed.

fedupfan13
fedupfan13

This is sad. I know he was 91 but it still sucks. The last few years every time I saw Ralph on a broadcast I would say to myself , I hope he doesn't pass away soon. Still though he lived a great life.

Curtis Batdorf
Curtis Batdorf

That sucks. Sooo many memories of Ralph Kiner in the broadcast booth when I was growing up. Damn.


crazyjoedavola
crazyjoedavola

Just got really dusty in my office. I remember thinking Kiner's Korner was what the Tonight Show should strive to be. RIP

Jerry
Jerry

Like many others I grew up on Kiner's Korner, memories of my youth. 

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

This is really so sad. Ralph Kiner has been one of the few constants  in my life since 1962. He always struck me as a true gentleman. His mere presence made every broadcast better. Even in his latter years he brought an element of knowledge and genuine class into every telecast. He will be missed.

Christopher Masiello
Christopher Masiello

One of my favorite things about the Mets. No matter how the team played, he was always a bright spot.

I hope he's having a final Happy Recap.

1345rmw
1345rmw

My all time favorite announcer, sorry to hear his passing,He will be missed

Ron Davis
Ron Davis

he is back with Bob and Lindsey day.  a great a good long life. Your a class act will be missed but never forgotten. RIP Kiner , We were always in your Korner.

Jesse Toyens Martinez
Jesse Toyens Martinez

RIP Ralph Kiner ... As a Mets fan his voice will always be memorable. #KinersKorner

Stephen Fontana
Stephen Fontana

I can't believe I didnt notice this earlier but...369 home runs in 10 YEARS?! Imagine if he had a career like these guys today 15+ years? Some 20? 


The man will be missed. 

ctsteve
ctsteve

So sad to hear of Ralph's passing, but we know he's up there with Lindsey Nelson listening to Bob Murphy give "the happy recap" of their time together in the Mets broadcast booth.

grote
grote

"And to all the father's here at Shea for Father's Day, let me say Happy Birthday!" A part of my childhood goes with you Mr Kiner. His passing makes me want to sit a my porch one summer night and just listen to a game on the radio like old times. RIP. 

Lisa Burton Radzely
Lisa Burton Radzely

Kiner's Korner and his calling Met games was a huge part of my childhood. What a great baseball player and announcer. RIP

cver
cver

Although he had a long charmed life, it's still sad to hear this.  He was the link that held all of the Mets history, a fantastic slugger and a great guy.  Now, we have to go on with out him, which will be different.  Very cool that he took part in some way in broadcasts until his passing.  Kiner's Korner was the best!  Very grateful for the time we had with him and tip my cap to him!

baseballnblues
baseballnblues

@pochemu They weren't great because they were awesome. Sorry to disagree, but have you ever listened to or watched a Yankee game? RIP Mr. Kiner... 

baseballnblues
baseballnblues

@gloveman Kinerisms... Ha! I remember him saying something like this once, "He led the league in saves because he pitched in relief" about some player in the 80s. He did have some great ones. How about Murphy putting a "Y" at the end of everyone's name? ...and now up to bat, Petey Rose...