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“If Casey Stengel were alive today, he’d be spinning in his grave,” he once commented after a misplay.

“On Father’s Day, we again wish you all a happy birthday,” he also said.

Then there was the time Gary Carter hit a winning home run in the 10th inning of his Mets‘ debut in 1985 and Kiner introduced him as Gary Cooper, the famed actor.

“Gary was a great sport about it,” Kiner remembered. “He came on ‘Kiner’s Korner’ afterward and introduced himself to me as Gary Cooper and even signed a picture to me, ‘Gary Cooper Carter.’”

His observations were pretty astute, too.

Talking about a former Gold Glove outfielder, Kiner remarked: “Two-thirds of the earth is covered by water. The other third is covered by Garry Maddox.”

Kiner had a stroke about a decade ago that slowed his speech, but remained an occasional part of the Mets‘ announcing crew.

Fellow announcers such as Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling always brightened when Kiner was alongside them. Younger fans who were born long after Kiner retired also reveled in his folksy tales.

“As one of baseball’s most prolific power hitters for a decade, Ralph struck fear into the hearts of the best pitchers of baseball’s Golden Era despite his easygoing nature, disarming humility and movie-star smile,” Hall President Jeff Idelson said in a statement.

“His engaging personality and profound knowledge of the game turned him into a living room companion for millions of New York Mets fans who adored his game broadcasts and later ‘Kiner’s Korner’ for more than half a century,” he said. “He was as comfortable hanging out in Palm Springs with his friend Bob Hope as he was hitting in front of Hank Greenberg at Forbes Field.”

As a teen, hanging around the Hollywood Stars in the Pacific Coast League, Kiner shook hands with Babe Ruth and talked ball with Ty Cobb. In high school, he hit a home run off Satchel Paige during a barnstorming tour.

After serving as a Navy pilot in World War II, Kiner had a strong rookie year and won the NL homer title with 23, beating Johnny Mize by one. He really broke loose the next year, hitting 51 home runs with 127 RBIs while batting .313.

Stuck on poor teams, Kiner never made it to the postseason. He made his mark in All-Star games, homering in three straight.

Kiner connected in the 1950 showcase at Comiskey Park, but made more noise with another ball he hit in the game. He hit a long drive to the base of the scoreboard in left-center field and Ted Williams broke his left elbow making the catch, causing him to miss two months.

“Williams always said I ruined his batting stroke, that he could never hit after that,” Kiner said. “Yeah, sure. He only hit .388 in ‘57.”

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