For New York Area residents of a certain age, the voices of summer for the 1970’s were the grouping of New York Yankees and New York Met announcers. The Yankee broadcasters for most of the decade were Frank Messer, Phil Rizzuto and Bill White while the Mets voices were Ralph Kiner, Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson. Those three Mets broadcasters covered the team for the first 15 years of their existence and when Ralph Kiner passed on in February 2014, one of the last links to the original Mets who gained fame under the tutelage of Casey Stengel is no longer with us.
Because Kiner spent so long after his playing career in the booth, we sometimes forget what a force he was as a hitter as he led or tied for the National League home run title each of his first seven seasons in the majors. The popular Mets TV feature of Kiner’s Korner was actually named after a section of old Forbes Field named for where many of Kiner’s blasts landed. He was also the only one of those three Mets announcers to have played in the show.
He did have a decent amount of cards during his time in the big leagues. If there was a 1951 Bowman Ralph Kiner issued he would have a card in every year Bowman produced a set but even without that card, there is enough to make the 1948-55 Ralph Kiner Bowman run our eBay Set of the Week. Three players that did have a Bowman Card each year from 1948 through 1955 were Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Red Schoendienst and Enos Slaughter.
The best news is building a Ralph Kiner Bowman collection–even in graded form– is very affordable and we have selected an example from each of these Bowman sets which is well within most collectors’ budgets. In conjunction with eBay and in the memory of the late Ralph Kiner who gave us more than 50 years as an Mets announcer and always had great stories to tell, it’s a nice kickoff to our weekly feature. You can see the Kiner cards inside eBay Collections.
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