Thursday, February 06, 2014

Ralph Kiner

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) -- Ralph Kiner, who slugged his way into the baseball Hall of Fame and enjoyed a half-century career as a popular broadcaster, died Thursday. He was 91.

The Hall said Kiner died at his home in Rancho Mirage with his family at his side.

Kiner hit 369 home runs during his 10-year career, mostly with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He made his debut in 1946 and his power quickly became the talk of baseball - he won or tied for the National League lead in homers in each of his first seven seasons.

''Kiner's Korner'' was already a fixture on the New York Mets' airways when he was inducted into the Hall in 1975. He was elected with just one vote to spare in his 15th and final year on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot.

The six-time All-Star still ranks sixth all-time with a home run every 14.1 at-bats. He averaged more than 100 RBIs per season and hit .279 with the Pirates, the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland.

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