THIS IS a rare Ralph Kiner Adirondack (model 165A) with his last name block stamped on the barrel.
HALL OF FAME outfielder
Ralph Kiner used this bat in a Cubs-Cardinals series in September
of 1954. In this series,
he drove a low liner into the left
field bleachers just inside the foul pole for his 21st circuit-clout
of the season - and 350th
of his career.
RALPH KINER, a six-time all-star
and Hall of Famer, finished the 1954 season with a respectable
22 home runs,
73 RBIs and an average of .285. Nevertheless,
he was traded to Cleveland in 1955 and retired shortly after that
ALL-STAR: 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953
Kiner won seven straight home run titles: 19461952
Powerful right handed slugger had a ratio of
homers to at-bats exceeded only by Babe Ruth in Major League history
WHEN KINER won the 1946 home run title
was the Pirates' first champion since 1906.
A powerful right-handed hitter, Ralph Kiner won
seven straight home run titles before he turned 30 years old. Kiner
was baseball's greatest home run hitter during the years immediately
after World War II. His ratio of homers to at-bats was at the time
exceeded only by Babe Ruth. Unfortunately, a back condition forced
him to retire at the age of 33, but his amazing home run pace helped
Kiner earn a spot in the Hall of Fame in 1975
Kiner began his Major League career on April 16, 1946 with the Pittsburgh
Pirates. He played for 10 seasons for the Pirates, Cubs and Indians
and ended his big league playing career in 1955.
Signed by the Pirates for an $8,000 bonus, Kiner hit 27 home runs
in two minor league seasons before the war. Following military service
(1943-45), he became Pittsburgh's starting left fielder in 1946.
Despite starting slowly, he hit 23 homers to tie the club record
and lead the National League.
Kiner was the Pirates' first home run champion since 1906, and home
attendance rose to its highest level since the pennant year of 1927
even though the team tumbled to seventh place.
PLAYING IN ONLY 10 seasons, Kiner had a .279
lifetime average, 1,451 hits, 369 HRs and 1,015 RBIs.
In 1947, the Pirates obtained Hank Greenberg, the 1946 American League
home run champ, and tailored Forbes Field to the two right handed
power hitters. A double bullpen, 30 feet wide by 200 feet long, significantly
cut the distances in left field. "Greenberg Gardens" (later
"Kiner's Korner") reduced the left-field line from 365 to
335 feet and the left-center power alley from 406 to 355 feet.
The two sluggers became roommates and Kiner credited Greenberg with
his continued success. Greenberg managed only 25 homers in his final
season, but Kiner blasted 51 to tie Johnny Mize for the league lead.
Finishing strong, he set a Major League record with eight homers in
four games from September 10 to 12. His batting average jumped to
a career-high .313 and he led the National league with a slugging
percentage of .639.
In 1948, Kiner again tied Mize for the National League homer championship,
hitting 40. The following year, a stretch drive of 16 September homers
brought him to 54, only two shy of Hack Wilson's National League record.
He also became the first player to hit 50 homers twice in the National
League. His 47 home runs in 1950 established a league record of 102
in two consecutive seasons, and he was named The Sporting News
Player of the Year.
Kiner led the National League in home runs in 1951 and 1952 to run
his streak to seven consecutive titles, but the Pirates around him
were in shambles. His back problems were also beginning to plague
him. On June 3, 1953 he was traded to the Cubs in a famous "we
finished last with you, we can finish last without you" deal.
RALPH KINER was baseball's greatest home run
hitter during the years immediately after World War II.
In Chicago, Kiner teamed in the outfield with the equally powerful
Hank Sauer, with whom he had
shared the National League home run title the year before. Before
the 1955 season, Cleveland General Manager Greenberg acquired him
for the Indians. He hit 18 homers for the Tribe in his final season.
Only 33 years old when his bad back ended his career, Kiner retired
having hit a home run in every 14.1 at-bats.
Playing only 10 seasons, he had a .279 lifetime
average, 1,451 hits, 369 home runs and 1,015 RBIs. He was an all-star
outfielder six times from 1948-53, and hit a home run in three consecutive
all-star games (1949, 50 and 51).
Kiner was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975 with 75 percent
of the vote.
RALPH KINER: Did you know...
...Kiner, like Del
Ennis, soaked his bats in oil, burned resin into them and polished
them to make them as hard as steel.
...Kiner was an Ensign flier in the Navy Air
Corps, serving overseas in the Pacific theatre during World War
...Kiner was the first $100,000 player in the National League.
...Kiner, from September 10-12, 1947, hit eight homers in four games,
setting a major league record.
...Kiner was traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates
in June 1953 with Joe Garagiola, Catfish Metkovich, and Howie Pollet
to the Chicago Cubs for Toby
Atwell, Bob Schultz, Preston Ward, George Freese, Bob Addis,
Gene Hermanski, and $150,000 cash.
...Kiner was sent by the Chicago Cubs in Nov. 1954 to the Cleveland
Indians to complete an earlier deal made on September 30, 1954.
The Chicago Cubs sent a player to be named later to the Cleveland
Indians for a player to be named later, Sam Jones, and $60,000 cash.
The Chicago Cubs sent Ralph Kiner (November 16, 1954) to the Cleveland
Indians to complete the trade. The Cleveland Indians sent Gale Wade
(November 30, 1954) to the Chicago Cubs to complete the trade.
...Kiner, after his retirement as a player, served briefly as GM
of the San Diego Padres in the Pacific Coast League.
...Kiner, since 1962, has done play-by-play for the Mets.
...Kiner was born October 27, 1922 in Santa Rita, New Mexico.
PIRATE SLUGGER Ralph
Kiner, and Ted Kluszewski,
Cincinnati first baseman, compare their Booming
Bats of the '50s in this photo taken on opening day of the 1951
National League season.
HALL OF FAMER RALPH KINER played for 10 seasons
for the Pirates, Cubs and Indians and ended his big league
playing career in 1955.
KINER hit a home run
in three consecutive all-star games.
RALPH KINER, right, and catcher Joe Garogiola,
were shipped from the Pirates to the Cubs in a blockbuster deal
in 1953. Pittsburgh received five players and $150,00 in the trade.
RALPH KINER was inducted into the
Hall of Fame in 1975 with 75 percent of the vote.