Ralph Kiner

by Mike Magers

Ralph_Kiner

Ralph Kiner was a 2014 inductee into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame.  Ralph’s sole connection to New Mexico is that he was born in 1922 in Santa Rita, now a ghost town but at the time, a copper mining town in Grant County, New Mexico.  He attended high school in Alhambra, California and then attended Pasadena City College and University of Southern California, signing a contract with the Pittsburg Pirates in 1941.  Like many other players, he entered the armed forces after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Kiner served in the United States Navy as a pilot in World War II, afterwards making his debut with the Pirates on April 16, 1946 and playing his final game September 25, 1955.

During his 10 year career, he played with the Pirates, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians.  He was an everyday player, most often in the outfield, averaging about 144 games per year.  He was also a good hitter with a lifetime batting average of .279 and 369 home runs.  Though the records have since been surpassed, he broke three of Babe Ruth’s hitting records, being the fastest player to hit 100, 200 and 300 home runs.  He also led the National League in home runs for seven consecutive years and all of Major League Baseball for six.  His career eventually ended due to injuries and Kiner was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.

Ralph is probably better known to most baseball fans as an announcer, calling every game of the New York Mets from the team’s inception until his death earlier this year on February 6, 2014.  During his 53 seasons in broadcasting, he was known for his wit, his humor and also for his tongue-twisting and wrongly-worded expressions, some of which are listed below:

“If Casey Stengel were alive today, he’d be spinning in his grave.”

“The Mets have gotten their leadoff batter on only once this inning.”

“On Father’s Day, we again wish you all happy birthday.”

“Solo homers usually come with no one on base.”

“There is a lot of heredity in that family.”

A sample of Kiner’s many links and references:
Career statistics on Baseball-Reference.com.
Broadcasting quotes from the Baseball Almanac.

During his 10 year career, he played with the Pirates, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians.  He was an everyday player, most often in the outfield, averaging about 144 games per year.  He was also a good hitter with a lifetime batting average of .279 and 369 home runs.  Though the records have since been surpassed, he broke three of Babe Ruth’s hitting records, being the fastest player to hit 100, 200 and 300 home runs.  He also led the National League in home runs for seven consecutive years and all of Major League Baseball for six.  His career eventually ended due to injuries and Kiner was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.

Ralph is probably better known to most baseball fans as an announcer, calling every game of the New York Mets from the team’s inception until his death earlier this year on February 6, 2014.  During his 53 seasons in broadcasting, he was known for his wit, his humor and also for his tongue-twisting and wrongly-worded expressions, some of which are listed below:

“If Casey Stengel were alive today, he’d be spinning in his grave.”

“The Mets have gotten their leadoff batter on only once this inning.”

“On Father’s Day, we again wish you all happy birthday.”

“Solo homers usually come with no one on base.”

“There is a lot of heredity in that family.”

 

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