By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer
Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner died at his home in California on Thursday. He died peacefully from natural causes with his family at his side. He was 91.
"With the passing of Ralph Kiner, the baseball world has lost one of its greatest ambassadors and the Hall of Fame has lost a wonderful friend," said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. "Ralph spent eight decades as a player, executive and broadcaster. He was a man who truly loved our National Pastime and made it better in every way. His legacy will live forever in Cooperstown."
"Ralph Kiner was one of the most beloved people in Mets history -- an original Met and extraordinary gentleman," Mets owner and CEO Fred Wilpon said in a statement. "After a Hall of Fame playing career, Ralph became a treasured broadcasting icon for more than half a century. His knowledge of the game, wit, and charm entertained generations of Mets fans. Like his stories, he was one of a kind. We send our deepest condolences to Ralph's five children and twelve grandchildren. Our sport and society today lost one of the all-time greats."
Kiner played 10 seasons in the big leagues from 1946-55, suiting up for the Pirates, Cubs and Indians. He retired as a .279/.398/.548 (149 OPS+) career hitter with 369 career home runs. Kiner led the league in homers in each of his first seven seasons and led MLB in homers six times.
Following his playing career, Kiner broadcast games for the White Sox and Mets. Condolences to his family and friends.