Hall of Famer and New York Mets announcer Ralph Kiner passed away at the age of 91 this afternoon, at his home in California.
During his years as a player, Kiner was a member of the Pirates from 1946 to 1954. Due to injuries, he retired after ten seasons, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975. Kiner followed up his time on the field behind the announcer's booth, where he remained a welcomed asset for decades (1962 through 2006).
This afternoon, Mets Chairmen & CEO Fred Wilpon issued a statement remembering Kiner:
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.
Howie Rose, the radio voice of the NY Mets:
"As accomplished a player, as talented a broadcaster, I would defy anyone to find a bad word about Ralph Kiner, one of the sweetest men I’ve ever met in my life. He had a profound influence on me both personally and professionally. I will miss him dearly."