Left fielder Ralph Kiner, who recently passed away, was the unmistakable star of some rather poor Pittsburgh Pirates teams of the late 1940s and early 1950s.
If Babe Ruth was the “Sultan of Swat,” then Hall of Famer Kiner was the “Buccaneer of Bash,” as during a six-year period he slammed an incredible number of homers with the Pirates, and in his career won or tied for the National League lead in homers in each of his first seven seasons, hitting more than 50 homers twice, and hitting 369 round-trippers during his 10-year career. He also hit more than 100 RBIs seven times.
In an era of darkness, Kiner was one of the few shining lights on the Pirates during that period, as they were in the basement or near the basement in many of those years.
KENNETH L. ZIMMERMAN
Huntingdon Beach, Calif.