Hall of fame player and Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner dies at 91


| lguerre@queenscourier.com |

Photo: Marc S. Levine/New York Mets
Photo: Marc S. Levine/New York Mets

Longtime Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner (second from right) poses with veterans at a 2011 event at Citi Field.

Hall of fame player and beloved Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner died on Thursday.

He passed away from natural causes at his home in California.  He was 91.

“Ralph Kiner was one of the most beloved people in Mets history—an original Met and extraordinary gentleman,” Met 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.  We send our deepest condolences to Ralph’s five children and 12 grandchildren.  Our sport and society today lost one of the all-time greats.”

Kiner spent most of his 10-year playing career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 40s and 50s.

Kiner retired with a .279 batting average and 369 career home runs. Kiner led the league in homers in each of his first seven seasons and stopped playing due to a back injury.

He then went on to have a storied broadcasting career. He was a Mets broadcaster since the team’s inception in 1962, and called games for more than 40 seasons. Kiner was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1975 and is a member of the Mets Hall of Fame.