One of the original three (along with Lindsay Nelson and Bob Murphy)
A voice who was the story-telling bridge
Connecting early Met fans to the team, Ralph Kiner was
A pro, coming to the broadcast booth with concrete Major League credentials:
Hitting the most home runs in the Senior Circuit seven straight years,
Including 51 in ’47 and 54 in ’49; entering the Hall of Fame in ’75.
He was a major voice for the Mets from their inception to his death in 2014.
He spoke with knowledge and experience, entertained his audience
With stories from his playing days . . . and followed many home games
With interviews of players and even comedians
On TV with a show affectionately called Kiner’s Korner, absent the smoothness
Of the polished host but filled with charm and engagement and a
Genuine interest exuding from Mr. Home Run himself. It was plain old fun
Watching those shows or listening to Kiner’s tales, based on experiences
But possibly with the presence of slight exaggeration or imperfect recall.
Toward the end, when he was suffering from pain and advancing age,
He didn’t always speak with the authority he had earlier displayed,
(That happens with us old folks sometimes but should never
Diminish our worth), and there were younger fans,
Ignorant of history, who wondered loudly why this man they
Barely knew was on the screen stumbling over words and memories.
It brought out into the open our nation’s disrespect and disregard for age
And history. (How many know the special place that Cleveland’s Larry Doby
Holds in the annals of Major League baseball?)
And as that situation was, it did not and could not diminish the stature
That had been earned by Ralph McPherran Kiner through industry,
Dedication and longevity. To last so long, to bring personalities of
So many Major Leaguers to fans like you and me, so that we felt more
Of a closeness to our entertainment heroes, one must be
A very special person, to be honored and cherished.
Kiner makes my Hall of Fame as player, as announcer
And as a special human being. He has been missed.