Friday, February 07, 2014
I was deeply saddened yesterday to learn of the passing of a true New York icon, Ralph Kiner, at the age of 91.
Ralph was one of those people I can trace back to my earliest memories of my youth, watching Mets games on TV. He, Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy were simply the best in the business and made watching Mets game fun, no matter where the team was in the standings.
He was best known as a Hall of Fame slugger during his career with the Pirates, Cubs and Indians. But here in New York, he was known as a voice to generations of Mets fans. And, of course, his endless malaprops, like calling Gary Carter "Gary Cooper." I think my favorite of all-time was the time he opened "Kiner's Korner" with "Hi, I'm Ralph Korner..." But we still loved Ralph.
He was font of baseball knowledge, and I loved when he and Lindsey Nelson would kill time during rain delays with his old baseball war stories. I'll never forget when he once talked about Branch Rickey, who ran the Cardinals, Dodgers and Pirates: "He had all the players, and all the money, and never let the two get together."
Ralph's passing is even sadder that he was an original Met, doing the games since the team's inception in 1962. And now, there are few connections to that time left.
SNY dedicated almost all their air time yesterday to his passing, and it was wonderful listening to people like Tom Seaver, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling, Gary Cohen and Vin Scully reminisce about Ralph and his towering legacy.
All Mets fans lost a legend yesterday, as well as a friend.
Godspeed, Ralph. And thank you for the memories.
Posted by The Omnipotent Q at 11:40 AM