Ralph Kiner, one of the game’s all-time great sluggers, passed away today at the age of 91.
Kiner, who led the National League in home runs for seven straight seasons, was favorite of mine on one of the best trio of broadcasters in baseball. He was the last to go from his NY Mets booth-mates Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy.
He was one of those guys who had a gift with language, if malaprops and misnaming people could be considered gifts. Kiner was a jovial sort, not one to browbeat players who came after him for perceived slights and inefficiencies.
The Hall of Famer (inducted 1975) ended a ten-year career (back problems forced him to retire at the age of 32) with 369 and was the author of the famous quote, “Home run hitters drive Cadillacs, and singles hitters drive Fords.”
Here‘s the NY Daily News obituary, written by Bill Madden.
He was the author/subject of a few books over the years, including:
- Baseball Forever: Reflections on Sixty Years in the Game, by Kiner (2004)
- Kiner’s Korner, by Kiner (1987)
- Ralph Kiner, The Heir Apparent (1951)
Here are some video gems of Kiner in various forms: