Sunday, January 23, 2011

This Day In Bucco History...Every Vote Counts

Nothing much cookin' before Stiller kickoff, but for those that need their daily horsehide fix:

Ralph Kiner was elected into the Hall of Fame by the baseball writers on this day in 1975. The ex-Pirate slugger received 273 votes on the 362 ballots cast by the writers, earning HoF membership by a single vote.

He played only ten years in the majors, but led or tied for the NL lead in home runs the first seven seasons of his career and retired with a home run percentage second only to that of Babe Ruth.


WilliamJPellas said...

Here's a question for ya, Ron. Why DID Kiner retire so early? I've not read that he was hurt, and obviously he was absolutely Ruthian for nearly his entire career.

Ron Ieraci said...

He hurt his back while in the service, Wil. It was a recurring, sapping his power at the end, and finally forced his retirement in 1955.

I never found anything that specified what his exact injury was, though I'd suppose a competent 21st century ortho surgeon would have added several years to his career.

WilliamJPellas said...

That's too bad. If he got hurt in the service, I'd imagine he played much of his career, or at least the latter part of it, with the injury. Thus, his numbers would have been even more imposing than they were had he been healthy the whole time. In terms of pure home run power, pure ability to hit one clean out of sight, Kiner is surely among the top 5 sluggers of all time, if not higher than that.