On this mournful day, consider the group of mankind worse off; Ralph McPherran Kiner has died. One of baseball's genuine and most charming gentlemen, foremost sluggers and most enduring personalities passed away Thursday at age 91. He died peacefully of natural causes, with his family at his side, at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., the National Baseball Hall of Fame said.
"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 Hall of Fame chairman Jane Forbes Clark. "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."
The game's shoulders are slumping and its eyes are moist. Baseball has had few in its family who were so widely revered, beloved and enjoyed.