July 11, 2007

KORNER MAN:

A Night of Wine and Memories for Kiner (RICHARD SANDOMIR, 7/12/07, NY Times)

Ralph Kiner, the last surviving original Mets announcer, was reminiscing yesterday during a conference call with members of the news media about an interview with Choo Choo Coleman, an original Mets catcher.

“How did you get your name?” Kiner asked, expecting to learn that Coleman loved toy trains or that his father worked on the railroad.

Instead, Coleman said, “I don’t know.”

“What’s your wife like?” Kiner also asked.

“She likes me, bub,” Coleman said.

Kiner, 84, is no longer a regular Mets voice and when he shows up (five appearances so far this season, with six more to come) he calls only a few innings. For his 45 years in the booth (he alternated between radio and TV with Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson for 17 of those years), he will be honored Saturday night against the Cincinnati Reds at Shea Stadium. The Hall of Famers Tom Seaver, Yogi Berra and Bob Feller, as well as various former Mets, will pay tribute to him.


Just when he'd started to skate a little--with Nelson gone, Murphy mostly exiled to radio, and an awful Met team--they brought in Tim McCarver to work with him. They were to baseball what Hank Stram and John Madden were to football--the first announcers to assume that fans could understand, and be interested in, the intricacies of the game. They conducted a clinic on the air.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 11, 2007 9:22 PM
Comments

Always a good idea to have a catcher in the booth. McCarver provided phenomenal commentary.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at July 12, 2007 7:27 AM

I had the pleasure of having a few drinks with Kiner the night before the first NLCS game in NY in 1986...he is a charming guy and a great story teller.

Posted by: Foos at July 12, 2007 8:36 AM

McCarver has been prone to inexplicably bizarre commentary for nearly 20 years, but it became so common by several years ago as to render games unwatchable. Of course, Madden's been senile for over a decade now. Like network news anchors, play-by-play men tend to be kept on air long after they become embarrassments. One wonders why their wives and friends don't make them stop...

Posted by: b at July 12, 2007 10:54 AM

I still have the autographed cocktail napkin.

Posted by: oj at July 12, 2007 12:27 PM
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