published by Keith Gendron
The long time broadcaster of the New York Mets and Hall of Fame slugger, Ralph Kiner passed away today of natural causes.
Part of the original trio in 1962, along with Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy, Kiner was the voice coming from the perspective of a former ballplayer. His signature homerun call was, ” It’s going , it’s going, it is gone good-bye!” . He was a power hitting, pull hitter(hence, Kiner’s Korner) that led the league in homeruns 7 consecutive seasons, playing for perrenial loser the Pittsburgh Pirates(1946-53), Chicago Cubs(’53-’54) and Cleveland Indians(1955). He also served as a U.S. Navy pilot in World War II.
Along with broadcasting the Mets, he had a postgame show known as”Kiner’s Korner”, where he interviewed ballplayers from the winning team, which at that time was mostly the visiting team. From Roberto Clemente to Pete Rose, he was a pioneer in bringing live interviews with professional baseball stars into your living room, at a time before the internet, wifi and smartphones. He was a great story teller, who also had a history of dating hollywood women such as Elizabeth Taylor and Janet Leigh to name a few. He was an early example, that chicks dig the long ball.
In a 10 year career, he totaled 369 homeruns, 1015 rbi and .279 batting average. As a player he never played in a world series, but, in 50 years of broadcasting he did get to experience Mets championships in 1969 and 1986.
I have been a Mets fan since I was five years old. And knowing he wont be apart of my summer this year for the first time in 40 years, puts a hole in my heart that bleeds orange and blue.
His wit and wealth of experiences and knowledge of baseball, will be sorley missed as he was one of the last connections back to baseball from 70 years ago…..another era, seemingly light years ago. Mets fans everywhere, will tell stories of him to their children. For his dedication to the organization, it would be well served, if the Mets dedicated their season to him.