Ralph Kiner died yesterday at age 91.
As a player, Kiner was a Hall of Famer despite a relatively short 10-year career. He led the National League in home runs in each of his first seven seasons, and was a Pirates legend in the 1940s and '50s.
After retirement, he became a broadcaster, most recently with the New York Mets, where his affable style made him a fan favorite.
Both the Pirates and Mets issued emotional statements
following Kiner's death, reflecting how much he meant to both franchises.
"All of us at the Pittsburgh Pirates have heavy hearts upon learning of Ralph Kiner's passing. Ralph was one of the greatest players to ever wear a Pirates uniform and was a tireless ambassador for the game of baseball. He was a treasured member of the Pittsburgh community during his seven years with the Pirates."
"Ralph Kiner was one of the most beloved people in Mets history -- an original Met and extraordinary gentleman. 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."
Condolences go out to his friends and family. He will be dearly missed by the entire baseball community.