That Ball is Gone…
February 7th, 2014 by slangon
Having grown up a Mets fan, I’ve spent a lot of time listening to Ralph Kiner talk about baseball. Strike that. I’ve been fortunate enough to listen to Ralph Kiner talk about baseball. Every fan has those special days during the baseball season that they look forward to. Opening Day. That big series with a rival team. The All-Star Game. The Post Season. A double header maybe. For me, the times when Ralph would spend a couple of innings in the booth with Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez were definitely among those special days.
When I heard that he passed yesterday, I knew I wanted to do a tribute card for him.
Of course Ralph Kiner is probably known more outside of the Mets fan base as one of the most dangerous sluggers of the 1950′s. I was unsure whether I wanted to make a custom card of him in his prime as a ball player, or as I remember him as a broadcaster. With that uncertainty firmly in hand, I decided to just start tracking down some images that I could use and take it from there. After a few minutes of browsing, I realized that I was way off base in wavering between him as a player and him as a broadcaster. There were so many more facets of this man’s life that stood out, I didn’t want to try and encapsulate them in just one card. So I made five.
Before there was Ralph the ball player, there was Ralph the war hero.
Then there was Ralph who led the league with 51 home runs in just his second year in the Majors.
While that was going on, there was Ralph who dated Hollywood starlets and counted Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra among his friends.
Then came Ralph who carved out a five decade long broadcasting career, bridging generations of fans.
And let’s not forget Ralph the Immortal.
Rest in peace, sir.