Posnanski: The unforgettable two lives of Ralph Kiner

From SABR member Joe Posnanski at Hardball Talk on February 7, 2014:

There are countless Mets fans who probably have no idea just how good a hitter Ralph Kiner was in his prime. In a way, there can be no greater tribute. Ralph Kiner died on Thursday. He was 91 years old. He was a broadcaster for the New York Mets for 53 years. And he rarely let on that there was a time when he was one of the great sluggers in the history of baseball.

Kiner lived two lives, which is one more than most of us get to live. He got to be the great ballplayer who drove Cadillacs because, as he is often quoted saying, “Home run hitters drive Cadillacs; singles hitters drive Fords.” And he got to be a broadcaster who was so beloved that these malapropisms were not only endured but celebrated.

“On Father’s Day,” he said, “we wish you all a happy birthday!”

Funny, I remember listening that day and I recall him saying, “It’s Father’s Day, so to you all you fathers out there, happy birthday!” The point’s the same. Ralph Kiner’s mistakes as a broadcaster made him more delightful, not less.

“That’s the great thing about baseball,” he said. “You never know what’s going on.”

Read the full article here: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/07/the-unforgettable-two-lives-of-ralph-kiner/related/

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

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