Megdal: Ralph Kiner, a legend who never got old

From SABR member Howard Megdal at Sports on Earth on February 6, 2014:

To grow up a fan of the New York Mets was to discover the multitudes of Ralph Kiner slowly. Being a Kiner fan was like having a grandfather who, upon further examination, turned out to belong to the whole world. A regular announcer and host of Kiner’s Korner to us, but gradually, a man who revealed his improbable supply of baseball knowledge. But the miracle of Ralph Kiner was that he stuck around, every bit himself to the end, and gave us all time to catch up.

His staying power gave him decades of interacting with nearly every important baseball figure of the 20th century (plus a good chunk of the 21st), but he also had the intelligence to glean what mattered in the lives of those people, the significance of major events in those lives. He did all that while simultaneously serving as an epic figure in baseball himself, and also (let’s not forget) dating Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor in her prime, Ava Gardner. He was as comfortable among Hollywood stars as he was in a baseball clubhouse, or on the air, and trust me, these are very different worlds.

Kiner is gone, having died Thursday at the age of 91. He is rightly lionized. Here’s how I found out about him.

Read the full article here:

Related link: Read the SABR biography of Ralph Kiner, written by Warren Corbett

Originally published: February 7, 2014. Last Updated: February 7, 2014.