Ralph Kiner played a major role in my teen years. He and Tim McCarver were the signature television game calling partnership in the 1980s and, together with Bob Murphy on the radio, were a very big influence on my development as a baseball fan.
Part of the fun of Kiner was waiting for him to say something incorrectly. We used to make a bit of a game out of telling each other the most atrocious Kiner-ism we could remember. But under that was a great story teller. The tangents he and McCarver would go off on during games were wonderful to me and taught me a lot about the game and it’s history as did his post game Kiner’s Korner segements.
In the last few years, since he suffered a stroke, his appearances on air have been few and far between. Each one a treasure. And though he obviously enjoyed those appearances I always felt sad that they paraded him out there despite his obvious issues. But each appearance was another chance to enter the wonderful mind and experience the great personality that was Ralph Kiner.
Rest in peace.