Playing, home run prowess, not broadcasting, should define late Kiner

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Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Ralph Kiner, right, (with Willie Mays) died at his home in California on Thursday. He was 91.

Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Ralph Kiner, right, (with Willie Mays) died at his home in California on Thursday. He was 91.

Still, it seems a shame to remember Kiner for anything he said, whether it was silly or incisive, when his actual body of work was so much more impressive, more genuine. Not to discount the charms of a Mets' broadcaster, which were considerable enough to keep him at it for 50 years, but there was the matter of those home runs, during one of the more astonishing stretches in baseball. Surely, if Ralph Kiner were alive today, hearing his life reduced to a radio man, well, we imagine he'd be spinning in his grave.