Ralph Kiner, who slugged his way to the baseball Hall of Fame and then enjoyed a half-century career as a popular broadcaster, died Thursday. He was 91. Kiner hit 369 home runs during his 10-year career, mostly with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He made his debut in 1946 and his power quickly became the talk of baseball - he won or tied for the National League lead in homers in each of his first seven seasons. When he retired, Kiner was sixth on the career home run list. Several years later, he joined the broadcast crew of the New York Mets for their expansion season in 1962 and became a permanent fixture - the home TV booth at Shea Stadium was named in his honor. Kiner is seen here getting a base hit against the Boston Braves during a game in Pittsburgh on Sept. 13, 1947.
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Players from St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates congratulate each other after 10 home runs in their game to tie the major league record for home runs in a single game in Pittsburgh on Aug. 16, 1947. (Left to right) Cardinals' Whitey Kurowski, who hit two homers; Pirates' Hank Greenberg, two; Ralph Kiner, two; Billy Cox, two; and Cardinals' Terry Moore, one.
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Bing Crosby, a co-owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and not a bad ball player himself showed up at the Buc's spring training camp and worked out with the team in Los Angeles on March 3, 1948. Crosby is catching while Ralph Kiner bats.
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St. Louis Cardinals OF Stan Musial, Brooklyn Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges, Brooklyn Dodgers 2B Jackie Robinson and Pirates OF Ralph Kiner pose before the start of the All-Star Game at Briggs Stadium in Detroit on July 10, 1951. The National League won 8-3.
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Elizabeth Taylor arrives for a Hollywood movie premiere with home run king Ralph Kiner on Dec. 21, 1949.
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Ted Williams talks with Ralph Kiner before the start of the All-Star game at Comiskey Park in Chicago on July 11, 1950.
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Ralph Kiner and his bride, tennis player Nancy Chaffee, cut their wedding cake at a reception following their marriage in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Oct. 13, 1951.
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Ralph Kiner and his bride, tennis star Nancy Chaffee pose in Palm Springs, Calif., circa 1951.
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Ralph Kiner chats with Casey Stengel, manager of the New York Yankees, in the dugout at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn before the start of the World Series on Oct. 1, 1952.
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Ralph Kiner sits in his Palm Springs home as he awaits the decision from the Pittsburgh Pirates on his lateest contract demand and refusal to take a 25% pay cut on Jan. 27, 1953 in Palm Springs, Calif.
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Stan Musial, Yogi Berra and Ralph Kiner share a laugh after Kiner was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Aug. 18, 1975 in Cooperstown, NY.
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Willie Mays tries to get Ralph Kiner's hat as the two Hall of Famers pose for pictures before the start of the Old Timers Day game at Shea Stadium in New York on Aug. 14, 1982.
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New York Mets' broadcaster Ralph Kiner works a game at Shea Stadium in New York on May 10, 1985.
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Kiner gestures while speaking on 'Ralph Kiner Night' at Shea Stadium in New York on July 14, 2007. In the background are photographs of him during his broadcasting career. The Mets pulled out all the stops to honor the voice of the team since it started playing in 1962.
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Ralph Kiner throws out the ceremonial first pitch to New York Mets first base coach Mookie Wilson prior to the Mets home opener against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on April 8, 2011.
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