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Fan Calls For Kiner’s Korner At Citi Field

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: New York Mets announcer and Baseball Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner speaks at the podium during pregame festivities against the Atlanta Braves during their Opening Day Game at Citi Field on April 5, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers, Getty Images

There is a growing twitter campaign to get the New York Mets to name a ‘Kiner’s Korner’ at Citi Field.

The @MetKinersKorner account reads: Following this account represents petitioning for renaming Citi Field Sections 132-134 as Kiner’s Korner, commemorating the 52-year Mets career of Ralph Kiner.

The fan behind the push is 31-year-old Ed Solomon who grew up listening to the late Kiner call Mets’ games and even had the privilege of meeting him during a spring training game in Port St. Lucie, FL – where the veteran broadcaster would sit-in for a few innings here or there in March to reminisce.

Solomon, a Long Island native who was attending med-school in Florida, ”took a chance” one Saturday that he’d find Kiner calling some of the Mets’ Grapefruit League action.

Ralph Kiner throws out ceremonial first pitch, April 8, 2011.
Al Bello, Getty Images Sport

”Sure enough, he was there. I had my dad watching the game on television and told him to call me when they said ‘Goodbye’ to Ralph during the game. I thought I could catch him leaving…” he said.

And, he did, sparking a conversation by asking for Kiner’s autograph.

”What do you want my autograph for?”, Kiner asked.

Solomon explained what many 30-something Mets fans would say to answer to that question: ”Mr. Kiner you helped teach me the game I loved.”

”He was as nice as advertised,” Solomon said. ”Childhood goal fulfilled!.”

Why Twitter?

”Twitter has taken off,” Solomon says, explaining why the campaign is social media driven, versus an online petition website. ”At [Mets] games they tell you to post your comments at hashtag whatever, and they post them in the stadium.”

‘Kould’ It Happen?

Solomon says he hasn’t talked to anyone with the Mets about the campaign, yet. The page needs to be more ‘substantial’ before he presents it to the team, he said. It has just shy of 2,000 followers – as of this posting – triple what it was just over a week ago on March 1 when the NY Post picked up the story.

 

COOPERSTOWN, NY - AUGUST 3: Ralph Kiner is honored during the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on August 3, 1997 at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Tomasso DeRosa/Getty Images)
Tomasso Derosa, Getty images

Mets’ fans would love to say, ”I saw a game from Kiner’s Korner.”

The team isn’t opposed to paying tribute to Kiner, either. They plan to wear this patch on their jersey sleeves during the 2014 season.

He suggests the area of sections 132-134, right down the line for a right-handed hitter, and where the height of the fence slightly fades, and slants toward the plate.

Kiner, who passed away this year at the age of 91, is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown for his playing days in Pittsburgh and a member of the Mets Hall of Fame for his years as the team’s play-by-play man.

The name Kiner’s Korner was coined during his playing days with the Pirates at Forbes Field – a short(er) porch area that was a nice target for right-handed power hitters (It was designed for ”Hammerin’ Hank Greenburgh”, according to baseball-statistics.com) Then, in his broadcast days, Kiner’s Korner became the name of his Mets post-game show.

Get A Look At The Mets' Ralph Kiner Patch

UPDATE: Oh, Baby, the most charismatic man in the sports world, Dick Vitale, tweeted about the campaign:

 

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