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Thursday, February 06, 2014

Ralph Kiner, Mets broadcasting legend and Hall of Fame Pirates player, dead at 91

Kiner always credited Hank Greenberg, the equally renowned home run hitter who hit 58 for the Detroit Tigers in 1938, as having most influenced his career. Greenberg was acquired by the Pirates in 1947 specifically to tutor Kiner, but besides working with him on his hitting, Greenberg also cautioned Kiner about his partying ways while ingraining in him the value of hard work. In becoming the most prolific power hitter in baseball, Kiner was credited with having coined the phrase “home run hitters drive Cadilacs” although he later confessed the quote was actually attributed to him by a ‘40s Pirate teammate, lefthanded pitcher Fritz Ostermueller.

Unfortunately, during those first seven years in the big leagues, Kiner’s Pirates finished last or next-to-last five times while finishing over .500 only once, prompting what has become one of the most famous lines ever uttered by a baseball executive. It was after the 1952 season, in which Kiner had won his seventh straight home run title, that Pirates GM Branch Rickey nevertheless offered to cut his major league high salary of $90,000 some 22% to $70,000. When Kiner protested, Rickey replied: “Son, we could have finished last without you.”

kthejoker Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:38 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, new york mets, pittsburgh pirates, rip

Thursday, November 21, 2013

ESPN: Union leader Michael Weiner dies

Condolences to his family.

Baseball players’ union head Michael Weiner has died 15 months after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He was 51.

The union says Weiner died Thursday at his home in Mansfield Township, N.J.

Weiner was a plain-speaking labor lawyer known for his casual dress and easygoing manner. He took over as head of the powerful union four years ago and helped smooth its often-contentious relationship with MLB management.

A succession plan was put in place last summer that will lead to former big league All-Star Tony Clark taking over Weiner’s role as executive director.

AndrewJ Posted: November 21, 2013 at 09:07 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbpa, obituary, rip, union

 

 

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