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jokergreen Jan 8 '20
 NEW YORK -- Ralph Kiner was a smash as a slugger, launching so many home runs over the left-field wall at old Forbes Field that fans nicknamed it his corner. Shawn Marion Jersey . Years later, as one of baseballs most beloved broadcasters, he became a big hit in a new "Kiners Korner." Kiner, the Hall of Famer whose frequent malaprops endeared him to New York Mets listeners for more than a half-century, died Thursday. He was 91. The Hall of Fame said Kiner died at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., with his family at his side. "He was a jewel," Mets Hall of Famer Tom Seaver said. Kiner hit 369 home runs during a 10-year career cut short by back problems. He debuted with Pittsburgh in 1946 and won or tied for the National League lead in homers in each of his first seven seasons. He was popular off the field, too. His Hollywood pals included Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, he squired Liz Taylor and Janet Leigh, and he played himself in the 1951 film "Angels in the Outfield." Kiner became a Mets announcer in their expansion season of 1962, working 17 years as a trio with Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson. Kiner called their games for 52 years in all, including a handful of them last season. Kiner was already a fixture on the Mets airwaves when he was inducted into the Hall in 1975. He was elected with just one vote to spare in his 15th and final year on the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot. The six-time All-Star outfielder still ranks sixth all-time with a home run every 14.1 at-bats. He averaged more than 100 RBIs per season and hit .279 with the Pirates, the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland. When he retired, Kiner was sixth on the career home run list. To generations of TV viewers and radio listeners, his postcareer acclaim was as great as the honours he earned on the field. "Kiners Korner" was a delight for players and fans alike, where stars would join Kiner for postgame chats. "I loved going on Kiners Korner. I enjoyed talking baseball with Ralph, especially learning about players from his era," former Mets star Dwight Gooden said. "But what really made it special was every time you went on, you got a $100. For a rookie like me in 1984, a $100 was a big deal." Kiner was known for tripping over his own words, and often laughed about his own comments. "If Casey Stengel were alive today, hed be spinning in his grave," he once commented after a misplay. "On Fathers Day, we again wish you all a happy birthday," he also said. Then there was the time Gary Carter hit a winning home run in the 10th inning of his Mets debut in 1985 and Kiner introduced him as Gary Cooper, the famed actor. "Gary was a great sport about it," Kiner remembered. "He came on Kiners Korner afterward and introduced himself to me as Gary Cooper and even signed a picture to me, Gary Cooper Carter." His observations were pretty astute, too. Talking about a former Gold Glove outfielder, Kiner remarked: "Two-thirds of the earth is covered by water. The other third is covered by Garry Maddox." Kiner had a stroke about a decade ago that slowed his speech, but remained an occasional part of the Mets announcing crew. Fellow announcers such as Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling always brightened when Kiner was alongside them. Younger fans who were born long after Kiner retired also reveled in his folksy tales. "As one of baseballs most prolific power hitters for a decade, Ralph struck fear into the hearts of the best pitchers of baseballs Golden Era despite his easygoing nature, disarming humility and movie-star smile," Hall President Jeff Idelson said in a statement. "His engaging personality and profound knowledge of the game turned him into a living room companion for millions of New York Mets fans who adored his game broadcasts and later Kiners Korner for more than half a century," he said. "He was as comfortable hanging out in Palm Springs with his friend Bob Hope as he was hitting in front of Hank Greenberg at Forbes Field." As a teen, hanging around the Hollywood Stars in the Pacific Coast League, Kiner shook hands with Babe Ruth and talked ball with Ty Cobb. In high school, he hit a home run off Satchel Paige during a barnstorming tour. After serving as a Navy pilot in World War II, Kiner had a strong rookie year and won the NL homer title with 23, beating Johnny Mize by one. He really broke loose the next year, hitting 51 home runs with 127 RBIs while batting .313. Stuck on poor teams, Kiner never made it to the post-season. He made his mark in All-Star games, homering in three straight. Kiner connected in the 1950 showcase at Comiskey Park, but made more noise with another ball he hit in the game. He hit a long drive to the base of the scoreboard in left-centre field and Ted Williams broke his left elbow making the catch, causing him to miss two months. "Williams always said I ruined his batting stroke, that he could never hit after that," Kiner said. "Yeah, sure. He only hit .388 in 57." Mets owner Fred Wilpon remembered Kiner as "one of the most beloved people in Mets history -- an original Met and extraordinary gentleman." "His knowledge of the game, wit, and charm entertained generations of Mets fans. Like his stories, he was one of a kind," he said. "Our sport and society today lost one of the all-time greats." The Mets named the home TV booth at Shea Stadium in his honour. The Pirates retired Kiners No. 4. "All of us at the Pittsburgh Pirates have heavy hearts upon learning of Ralph Kiners passing," the team said in a statement. Ralph McPherran Kiner was born on Oct. 27, 1922. He was first married to tennis star Nancy Chaffee. Following their divorce he married Barbara George, and following another divorce he married DiAnn Shugart, who died in 2004. Jay Vincent Jersey . He, the 25-year-old Toronto backup net-minder and Manitoba native, would be making just his fourth start in the past 16 games against the Jets the following evening. It was the word of opportunity for Reimer, who has fallen into the role of backup, outmatched in recent weeks by Jonathan Bernier, his Quebec counterpart. Justin Jackson Jersey . -- Mississippi State was crushed twice by Florida last season, once by 35 points and the other by 25.Ref Watch is back to debate another selection of controversial decisions from some of the weekends football matches in England and Spain. Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher joined host Rob Wotton in the Sky Sports News HQ studio to analyse a number of contentious calls.From vital goals to offside goals, yellow cards not given to questionable penalty decisions, and even a red card for a manager through no fault of his own, we have it all covered in this weeks edition. MATCH: Liverpool v Newcastle United, Premier League, SaturdayINCIDENT: Daniel Sturridges second-minute goal is allowed to stand despite the player looking offside.SCENARIO: A long ball is played upfield to Sturridge, who is positioned between two defenders. When he comes into shot on television pictures, the striker appears to be in an offside position - although replays show him to have come from an onside position when the ball was played. Sturridge chests the ball down, takes a touch then turns and shoots low into the bottom corner to give Liverpool a 1-0 lead, with referee Andre Marriner and his assistant Stephen Child allowing the goal to stand. An alternative angle shows Daniel Sturridge was onside ahead of his goal against Newcastle GALLAGHERS VERDICT: Correct decision.GALLAGHER SAYS: Its a top-drawer decision and you can see why these guys are in the Premier League. Its a close call and its their first decision of the game as well. Child has hit the ground running and its a class, class decision.MATCH: Liverpool v Newcastle United, Premier League, SaturdayINCIDENT: Roberto Firmino scores but has his goal disallowed for offside.SCENARIO: James Milner collects the ball on the right wing, cuts inside and crosses to Joe Allen, whose header is palmed away by Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow. Firmino is waiting at the back post and after the rebound falls to him, he takes a touch with his thigh before tapping in on the line. The goal is not allowed to stand, with assistant referee Harry Lennard flagging it off. Roberto Firmino stands in an offside position on the near side before putting the ball in the net against Newcastle GALLAGHERS VERDICT: Correct decision.GALLAGHER SAYS: I think the interesting thing here is if it goes in during the first phase of play, Harry doesnt flag. What happens though is the keeper saves it and by then Firmino is in an offside position as he follows it up. It would have been a goal initially had Allens header gone in but once it was saved, Firmino was offside. Harry has kept his focus on the player who has gone forward and disallowed it correctly.MATCH: Liverpool v Newcastle United, Premier League, SaturdayINCIDENT: Papiss Cisse escapes a yellow card after colliding with Dejan Lovren and conceding a free kick.SCENARIO: A high ball drops with Cisse and Lovren jostling to win possession. The players come together with Cisses right arm outstretched. Lovren falls to the ground and lands on his knees with his face down and coughing, whereas Cisse goes on to contest the loose ball before play is stopped and Marriner gives a foul against him for his challenge on Lovren. No caution is issued. Dejan Lovren and Papiss Cisse come together during the first half of Liverpools game with Newcastle GALLAGHERS VERDICT: Wrong decision.GALLAGHER SAYS: I didnt think it was an elbow. It wasnt very nice because if you see it, Cisse has looked for it and has caught him with his forearm across the throat. Its reckless and I think he should have got a yellow card. The good thing about it is the lad looked very bad at the time and was a lot better afterwards. It didnt cause the damage it could have done.MATCH: Liverpool v Newcastle United, Premier League, SaturdayINCIDENT: Cheick Tiote trips Sturridge in the area but no penalty is given.SCENARIO: Sturridge cuts into the penalty area from the right and after a stepover, turns to his right away from Tiote and then right again before being brought down. Tiotes right knee appears to catch the England strikers right knee but referee Marriner waves play on and does not give the penalty. He also decides not to caution Sturridge for simulation. Gallagher feels Sturridge should have been given a penalty against Newcastle GALLAGHERS VERDICT: Wrong decision.GALLAGHER SAYS: I dont know why it wasnt given because I thought it was a penalty. Sometimes you cant win the ball and this is a classic example of that. Sturridge has hidden the ball from Tiote and hes got to go through him to get it but Sturridge moved the ball away and had his legs taken from him. Its just an incident the referee didnt see as I see it - but he doesnt have the luxury of being able to see replays from different angles. It should have been a penalty.MATCH: Liverpool v Newcastle United, Premier League, SaturdayINCIDENT: A fan watching the match blows a whistle during play.SCENARIO: With the half-time interval imminent, someone in the crowd blows a whistle in an attempt to make people believe it is signalling the end of the first half. Although the players on the pitch dont react and referee Marriner waves play on, many onlookers believe the whistle to have marked the end of play and begin applauding. After a couple of seconds, Marriner feels he has no choice but to stop play to end the confusion and restarts play with a drop ball to Newcastle, who play it back to Liverpool given they had been in possession at the time. Andre Marriner stopped play after a false half-time whistle from the crowd at Anfield GALLAGHERS VERDICT: Correct decision.GALLAGHER SAYS: It has put the referee in an impossible position and he is forced to stop the game. The players are really good here - they accepted he had to stop the game and they let him drop the ball, which he had to, and they restarted as normal. Its a strange, strange incident and I dont know why people do it. Its not good. Maybe the guy wanted a half-time cup of tea a bit early but we dont want to see that.MATCH: Sunderland v Arsenal, Premier League, SundayINCIDENT: The ball strikes Per Mertesacker in the Arsenal penalty area but no penalty is given.SCENARIO: Sunderland are attacking when Jermain Defoe shoots only to have his attempt blocked by Mertesacker. The German defender turns his back on the attempt from close range and the ball hits his left arm, with Sunderlands players appealing for a foul. Referee Mike Dean dismisses their claims and no penalty is awarded. Per Mertesacker blocked Jermain Defoes shot but not illegally, according to Gallagher GALLAGHERS VERDICT: Correct decision. Marquis Daniels Jersey. GALLAGHER SAYS: Mertesacker starts with his hands behind his back which is interesting. What you would say is Defoe has lashed his shot so hard and from so close by that Mertesacker has not got any chance of getting out of the way. Anybody who thought that was deliberate is very much mistaken. Why Mertesacker turns his back I dont know but the ball strikes him rather than him striking the ball. Watch the penalty shouts from both teams during Sunderlands 0-0 draw with Arsenal MATCH: Sunderland v Arsenal, Premier League, SundayINCIDENT: DeAndre Yedlin blocks Alex Iwobis shot in the penalty area with his arm but no foul is given.SCENARIO: Arsenal are attacking and Iwobi shoots from around 12 yards and although his attempt clears the first defender who is attempting to block it, Yedlin gets in the way and appears to make contact with the ball with his right hand before Sunderland clear. Arsenals players appeal for a penalty but again Dean chooses not to award one. DeAndre Yedlin gets in the way of Alex Iwobis shot during Sunderlands game with Arsenal GALLAGHERS VERDICT: Correct decision.GALLAGHER SAYS: This is even more interesting because it cant be handball because when you look at the incident again, it actually strikes his leg first and then flies up to hit him on the arm. He has no chance of getting out of the way so again its a case of ball to hand rather than hand to ball.MATCH: Leicester City v Swansea City, Premier League, SundayINCIDENT: Riyad Mahrez scores the opening goal after an apparent handball in the build-up.SCENARIO: Swansea captain Ashley Williams attempted pass is intercepted by Mahrez, with the ball seeming to strike him on the arm. Mahrez gathers the ball and advances into the penalty area and shoots low past Lukasz Fabianski to put Leicester 1-0 ahead. Riyad Mahrez scored after the ball struck him when Ashley Williams failed to clear properly GALLAGHERS VERDICT: Correct decision.GALLAGHER SAYS: Initially I thought this was handball because the ball has struck Mahrez from a reasonable distance but the thing thats convinced me it hasnt hit him on the arm but on the side instead is the fact Williams - the closest player to him who played the ball - reacts first by chasing the ball. Thats really the giveaway. It must have hit him on the side under the arm because Williams would have been the first one to stop but his movement after the ball is played and the fact it goes in the net with him just carrying on tells me I was initially wrong.MATCH: Manchester City v Stoke City, Premier League, SaturdayINCIDENT: Ryan Shawcross concedes a penalty against Manchester City but is not booked.SCENARIO: Kelechi Iheanacho attempts to play a one-two with Yaya Toure as Manchester City attack and play their way into Stokes penalty area but as Iheanacho attempts to receive the return ball, Shawcross intentionally body-checks the Nigerian and referee Bobby Madley awards a penalty kick but elects not to caution Shawcross. Ryan Shawcross conceded a penalty against Manchester City but wasnt booked for bringing down Kelechi Iheanacho GALLAGHERS VERDICT: Wrong decision not to book Shawcross.GALLAGHER SAYS: The referee didnt see it the way we have. Its definitely a penalty and theres no question about that but it could easily have been a yellow card for reckless play and pulling him back, as weve seen many, many times. Whether the referee thinks hes just pulled him back but has been going after the ball, I dont know. If Shawcross had got a yellow card, he couldnt have complained.MATCH: Atletico Madrid v Malaga, La Liga, SaturdayINCIDENT: A ball is thrown on to the pitch during play from the Atletico Madrid bench.SCENARIO: Malaga win a throw inside their own half and take it quickly to start a fast counter attack but as midfielder Ricardo Horta runs down the left wing with lots of space to exploit, a ball is thrown onto the pitch from Atleticos dug-out. Manager Diego Simeone is standing on the touchline shouting instructions as the second ball enters the field, but as the most senior ranking official in his sides technical area, the referee sends him to the stand for the rest of the match. Diego Simeone watched much of Atletico Madrids win over Malaga from the stand after he was sent off GALLAGHERS VERDICT: Correct decision.GALLAGHER SAYS: The law is quite clear. Its a case of whether what happens affects play and the referee, quite rightly, highlights that if he pulled that up, Malaga would be penalised as they are attacking. As it didnt interfere with a Malaga player, he quite rightly allowed play to continue until the move broke down before going back to deal with the issue. The interesting thing afterwards is the referee doesnt know who threw it on and the rule in Spain is if he goes to the bench to remove somebody and he doesnt know who, it has to be the most senior person there. In this case that was Simeone so he is now staring down the barrel of a three-match ban for something that he didnt do. If that ball had actually struck the match ball, it would have interfered with play completely and the Malaga attack would have broken down, with the referee forced to stop it. What was really good was the referee was aware it hadnt affected the Malaga player and he allowed him to continue until the move ended. Also See: Premier League video Fixtures Table Live on Sky Get Sky Sports Get a £10 free bet! ' ' ' 
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