Former Cub Ralph Kiner dies at age 91

Kiner-Ralph-Cubs

(Photo courtesy of National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

Hall of Fame slugger Ralph Kiner (center) died Thursday at the age of 91. Kiner, who was best known for his time with the Pirates, spent a year and a half with the Cubs toward the end of his career.

Known for his longball abilities, the outfielder led the National League in home runs in each of his first seven seasons (1946-52), topping out at 54 bombs in 1949.

In July 1953, he was traded to the Cubs in a nine-player deal and hit .283/.394/.529 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 28 homers in 117 games. Kiner had another successful season on the North Side in 1954, hitting 22 home runs and finishing with a .285/.371/.487 line. On Nov. 16 of that year, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians for right-hander Sam Jones.

A back injury ended his career following the 1955 season. After his retirement, he moved into the broadcast booth with the White Sox (1961) and Mets (1962-2006).

Over Kiner’s 10-year career, he hit .279/.398/.548 and amassed 369 home runs and 1,015 RBI. The six-time All-Star was induced into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.

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