A Hall of Fame slugger and veteran baseball broadcaster has died. According to The Hollywood Reporter, longtime New York Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner, 91, died Thursday at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Kiner worked Mets games for more than 50 years, remaining on the job until last year, the report notes.
Kiner hit 369 home runs during his decade-long baseball career, which he spent mostly with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He then worked for one year as a Chicago White Sox broadcaster, before joining the Mets for their inaugural season, the story reports.
In recent years, his speech was slurred after a battle with Bell’s palsy, but he still worked a few games during the season, the piece adds.
His “distinctly low-budget postgame show ‘Kiner’s Korner,’” a popular show that featured Kiner interviewing players and going over highlights, debuted in 1963 on WOR-TV, the story notes.
Kiner was known for his gaffes, such as forgetting his own name on-air. He also had some memorable lines, such as saying of the Philadelphia Phillies center fielder, “Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water. The other third is covered by Garry Maddox.”
"Ralph Kiner was one of the most beloved people in Mets history — an original Met and extraordinary gentleman,” Mets Chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon said in a statement. “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."