When I was a kid, I never missed a Met game. My pop took me to Shea Stadium for the first time in 1968, and after that, we would always watch the games together. Just about every Met game was on Channel 9 in the New York area, and the broadcast team was terrific: Bob Murphy, Lindsey Nelson and Hall-of-Fame slugger Ralph Kiner.
Lindsey Nelson passed away in 1995, Bob Murphy in 2004, and yesterday, Ralph Kiner died of natural causes at the age of 91. Kiner was working in the booth right up until last season. "Ralph was -- and it's hard to think of him in the past tense -- royalty," sportscaster Howie Rose told The New York Times. "And you don't throw the king overboard. He's there until he was done."
Kiner was also a master of malapropisms and is famously remembered for these gems: "Darryl Strawberry has been voted to the Hall of Fame five years in a row," "Kevin McReynolds stops at third and he scores," and "Now up to bat for the Mets is Gary Cooper."
His New York Times obituary also included this:
In one exchange from the early days of the Mets (though not on the show “Kiner’s Korner”), he asked a young Mets catcher, Choo Choo Coleman, “What’s your wife’s name, and what’s she like?” Coleman replied, “Her name is Mrs. Coleman — and she likes me, bub.” (Years later, Coleman denied this ever happened.)
My buddies, my family, and myself, will miss Ralph Kiner.
Photo: Chris McGrath / Getty Images Sports
Name: Gary Cee
Born: February 28th
Astrological Sign: Pisces
Lucky Number: 22
Before WNNJ, I worked at: WPDH, WLIR, WDRE, WRCN, Circus Magazine, WNYU, Jay-Cee Printing
Favorite WNNJ Bands: Beatles, Stones, AC/DC, Ramones, Bruce, ELO
Favorite Movies: Raging Bull, Defending Your Life, Rock and Roll High School, This is Spinal Tap, Shawshank Redemption, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Matchpoint, Hold That Ghost, Animal House, Doctor Strangelove
Favorite Books: The Bullpen Gospels by Dirk Hayhurst, Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles by Geoff Emerick, The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama, The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson, The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood, The Man Who Ate the 747 by Ben Sherwood, The Stand by Stephen King, High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, About the Author by John Colapinto, Border Music by Robert James Waller, FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio by Richard Neer, Fair Ball: A Fan's Case for Baseball by Bob Costas, Tales of Times Square by Josh Alan Friedman, Wonderland by Michael Bamberger, Why Sinatra Matters by Pete Hamill, Arbitron: Condensed Radio Market Report, Poughkeepsie, NY, Spring 2005
Favorite Restaurants: Il Cena'Colo, Newburgh; The Grange, Warwick.
Favorite TV Shows: Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Fargo, CBS Sunday Morning
Favorite Led Zeppelin song: The Rain Song
Hobbies: I write crossword puzzles for The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal
Favorite quote: “Luck is the residue of design” – Branch Rickey