“Ralph Kiner was one of the most beloved people in Mets history,” Mets CEO Fred Wilpon said. “After a Hall of Fame playing career, Ralph became a treasured broadcasting icon for more than half a century. His knowledge of the game, wit, and charm entertained generations of Mets fans. Like his stories, he was one of a kind. Our sport and society lost one of the all-time greats.”
While he only played 10 seasons due to back problems, he was an offensive force for the Pittsburgh Pirates and won seven straight National League home run titles. He finished his career with 369 homers, 1,015 RBIs and a .279 career batting average.
Paired with fellow legends Bob Murphy and Lindsay Nelson, he broadcasted Mets games from 1962 to 2006. In addition to dating and knowing numerous celebrities, he was widely known for Kiner’s Korner, a segment where he would interview players after the game.
“I join with generations of Mets fans in mourning the passing of baseball Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner,” Katz said. “Ralph was a gentleman’s gentleman whose exploits both on and off the field endeared him to millions of people.”
Lifelong Mets fan James McClelland of Ozone Park was saddened to hear of the passing of Kiner and fondly remembers listening to him on television. McClelland said Kiner would often come over to the kids during batting practice and he was like “your grandfather or drunk uncle.”
“Kiner’s Korner was always something you wanted to watch,” he said. “Bob Murphy and he were the Mets. He brought respect and honor to broadcasting.”