February 6, 2014


Kiner, Hall of Fame slugger, broadcaster, dies at 91 : Led Majors in homers for six straight years with Bucs; worked Mets games since 1962 (Marty Noble, 2/06/14,  MLB.com)

When Frank Cashen approached a gathering of men at Spring Training camp in the 1980s, he routinely addressed them three times. "Gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen," the Mets general manager would say, no matter the number of scoundrels and scallywags in the group. He once explained why he would paint them all with the same benefit-of-the-doubt brush. "Just in case Mr. Kiner is among them," Cashen said. "Any group that includes Ralph would have to be a group of gentlemen."

A tad presumptuous, perhaps, but probably true; the gentle and princely presence of Ralph Kiner could turn a gathering of crooks, rogues and rascals into civil and gracious fellows. Mr. Kiner had that effect, the opposite of one bad apple. "One wonderful man," Tim McCarver once said. "Any group of people is better off if Ralph joins."

On this mournful day, consider the group of mankind worse off; Ralph McPherran Kiner has died.

Posted by at February 6, 2014 5:53 PM

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