|2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Archives Autographs #RK.|
Just heard this afternoon that Ralph Kiner, who did most of his damage in the mid 1940's through the early 50's with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and after a stint with the Cubs and Indians became a long-time broadcaster with the New York Mets, passed away today. He was 91 years old.
From the year he made his MLB debut through 1952, Kiner led the National League in home runs, hitting 294 during that seven season run, becoming the player to lead the NL in home runs in seven consecutive seasons. He was also a six-time All-Star (five times with the Bucs, one with the Cubs), and was inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1975.
I bring all of this up because of the card above. Kiner was one of 21 subjects who were not included in the 2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites set but had an autograph card (and one that was part of that elusive Group A - limited to 50 cards). The following year, Topps included him in the base set...and used the same picture above for the base card. On the checklist, he was included as an autographed card...meaning that this card was used for two consecutive years.
Regardless of all of that, this humble little blog sends its condolences to Mr. Kiner's family, the Pirates organization, the Mets organization, and Major League Baseball.