Ralph Kiner

A Baseball Biography

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About the Book

Ralph Kiner (1922–2014) was one of the most feared power hitters of his era. Babe Ruth predicted Kiner would be the slugger most likely to break Ruth’s single season home run record. While the left fielder from New Mexico missed that mark, he did break one of the Babe’s records, leading his league in home runs for seven consecutive seasons—a record unbroken since.
Kiner set his records while playing for some of the worst teams ever to take the field. With little support in the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup, pitchers were often able to work around Kiner, walking him dozens of times per season. Despite this, Kiner made them pay for their mistakes, sending towering flies over the fences.
After just 10 years in the league, Kiner’s career on the field was cut short by chronic back pain. At retirement, his 369 home runs placed him sixth on the all-time list. He didn’t leave baseball, however, serving as general manager of a minor league team and later announcing for the newly formed New York Mets in 1962, where he would be the voice of the team for more than fifty years. This is his story.

About the Author(s)

Robert P. Broadwater has written more than 35 books of military history and more than 100 magazine articles dealing with the American Civil War and the Revolutionary War. He lives in Bellwood, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Robert P. Broadwater
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9817-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2273-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction 1

1: Learning to Love the Game 5

2: Off to the Minors 19

3: A World at War 31

4: Breaking into the Bigs 38

5: Making a Splash in Pittsburgh 48

6: A Mentor for Ralph 59

7: The Assault on Ruth’s Record 69

8: Earning a Tie with the Babe 85

9: Best Player on Bad Teams 94

10: Traded to the Cubs 107

11: Last Stand with the Indians 120

12: Out of the Game 129

13: Kiner’s Korner Moves to New York 140

14: A World Series and a Trip to the Hall 151

15: Mr. Met 162

Epilogue 173

Appendix One: Career Stats and Comparison to Other Hall of Fame Members 177

Appendix Two: Major League Players’ Career Home Run Totals 181

Appendix Three: Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famers 183

Chapter Notes 185

Bibliography 189

Index 191

Book Reviews & Awards

“a comprehensive examination”—ProtoView.