Hall of Fame outfielder and esteemed New York Mets announcer Ralph Kiner passed away Thursday, Feb. 6, at the age of 91.
The Mets franchise released a statement from chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon honoring the beloved broadcaster and seven-time National League home run champion:
Bud Selig provided his thoughts via the MLB Public Relations feed:
SportsNet New York also provided a statement expressing its sadness over the loss:
Hall of Fame chairman Jane Forbes Clark praised Kiner for his efforts to better the sport, per MLB.com's Marty Noble:
With the passing of Ralph Kiner, the baseball world has lost one of its greatest ambassadors and the Hall of Fame has lost a wonderful friend. Ralph spent eight decades as a player, executive and broadcaster. He was a man who truly loved our national pastime and made it better in every way. His legacy will live forever in Cooperstown.
SNY broadcaster Kevin Burkhardt and senior producer Joe Kraus, who worked closely with Kiner, were among the first to respond to the news on Twitter:
Sports Illustrated's Phil Taylor is one of many New Yorkers who will remember Kiner fondly:
Kiner played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians over a 10-season span from 1946 to 1955. He earned six All-Star nods throughout his career, and the Pirates would eventually retire his No. 4 jersey in 1987.
He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.
According to BaseballHall.org, Kiner, who led the National League in home runs for seven consecutive years from 1946 to 1952, is widely regarded as the greatest home run hitter during the era immediately following the conclusion of World War II. He retired with 369 to his name and recorded 40 or more on five separate occasions in Pittsburgh, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Alan Robinson:
Kiner delayed the start of his baseball career to serve as a Navy pilot during World War II, adding another impressive accomplishment to his decorated resume and legacy.
Kiner took to the broadcasting booth in the early 1960s, first with the Chicago White Sox, and had been serving as the voice for the Mets since the franchise's inception in 1962.
There's no doubt that Kiner lived a memorable and fulfilled life. His passing is sure to have a significant impact on the baseball universe and especially Mets Nation.
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