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April 16, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Batting helmet belonging to Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Michael McKenry (not pictured) sits in the dugout prior to the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Ralph Kiner, a Player As Good As David Justice, Passes Away At 91


Hall of Fame outfielder Ralph Kiner has passed away at age 91. Here are some facts about the great Ralph Kiner:

He was born in 1922 in Santa Rita, New Mexico. He was originally signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1941. He served as a U.S. Navy pilot in World War 2.

Made his major league debut with the Pirates on April 16, 1946 at age 23. Hit .247 with 23 home runs his rookie season.

Kiner hit 51 home runs his second year, finishing fifth in MVP balloting. Made the All-Star team six straight years, from 1948 to 1953. Hit a career high 54 home runs in 1949.

In June 1953, was traded along with Joe Garagiola, George Metkovich and Howie Pollet to the Chicago Cubs for Bob Addis, Toby Atwell, George Freese, Gene Hermanski, Bob Schultz, Preston Ward and $150,000. In November 1954, was traded by the Cubs to the Indians to complete an earlier deal.

Was released by the Indians in October 1955. Finished his career with zero postseason appearances.

In 1961, began his broadcasting career with the Chicago White Sox. Joined the Mets broadcasting team in 1962, also hosting a popular post-game show called Kiner’s Korner. Became known for on-air gaffes.

Kiner was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975.

According to Baseball Reference’s similarity scores, Kiner was most similar as a player to Braves outfielder David Justice.

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Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates Ralph Kiner

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