» January 18, 1947: The Pirates buy 1B Hank Greenberg from the Tigers for a reported $25,000 to $35,000 (The Baseball Encyclopedia lists $75,000). The veteran Greenberg led the American League in home runs with 44 in 1946 and the Pirates will pair him with young slugger Ralph Kiner, the National League home run leader.
» May 1, 1947: For the first time Cleveland will play all its games at Municipal Stadium, abandoning League Park, where most weekday games have been played. New owner Bill Veeck installs an inner fence to cut power alleys from 435 to 365 feet. A more celebrated attempt to fuel home runs is at Pittsburgh where the 30-foot reduction of the LF wall is dubbed Greenberg Gardens, for the Pirates' famous acquisition. Hank will hit only 25 home runs for the season, however, but sophomore Ralph Kiner will find the shortened distance more advantageous.
» May 15, 1947: Behind Ralph Kiner's two home runs, the Pirates beat the Dodgers, 73, handing Brooklyn its 8th loss in nine games. Billy Cox also homers for the Pirates.
» July 23, 1947:
Ralph Kiner hits HRs 24 and 25, breaking the Pirate record of 23 by Johnny Rizzo in 1938 and tied by rookie Kiner last year. Behind HR king Johnny Mize 14 to 3 at the end of May, Kiner will have 25 to Mize's
31 by the end of July.
» August 16, 1947: Ralph Kiner hits three successive home runs for the host Pittsburgh Pirates, in a 127 win over the Cardinals in a game in which the two clubs bang out major-league record (since topped) 10 homers. Two other Bucs, Hank Greenberg and Billy Cox, and one Cardinal (Whitey Kurowski) each contribute two home runs to set a major-league record for most players with 2+ homers in a game. Kiner matches the ML mark of seven home runs in four games, six in three games, five in two games, and four in consecutive at bats. By the end of the month, Big Ralph will still trail Mize 39 to 43 in a head-to-head home run competition that will only be matched by Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in 1961. Starters Roger Wolff and the Cards Ken Burkhart exit in the first inning.
» August 31, 1947:
The Cubs overcome Ralph Kiner's 39th homer of the season to defeat the Pirates, 63, in Chicago. Doyle Lade goes the distance. Kiner's homer, with one aboard, gives him 101 RBIs for the year.
» September 11, 1947:
Ralph Kiner hits 3 successive HRs for the Pittsburgh
Pirates. He hit 2 on the 9th against the Giants Larry
Jansen, as the Pirates lost.
» September 12, 1947:
Ralph Kiner hits his record 8th HR in 4 games to
pass Johnny Mize in the HR race as Pittsburgh tops
the Boston Braves 4-3. The rain of HRs exceeds
the 7 in 4 games hit by Tony Lazzeri in 1936. On the
18th Kiner will again pass Mize in the homer derby
by belting his 50th of the season. Mize will get his
50th two days later. Kiner will get number 51 on September
23 against Jim Hearn of the Cards, and Mize will tie
it up 2 days later off Johnny Sain of Boston. Both
players have until the season finales on September
28 to break the tie, but neither will succeed.
» May 9, 1948: In the 2nd game of the Sunday doubleheader between the Pirates and the Dodgers, the umpire continues the game through a seven P.M. curfew because he believes Pittsburgh to be stalling with a 54 lead. The Dodgers pass the Pirates for a 75 score, but Ralph Kiner hits a 3-run home run to carry Pittsburgh to a 108 victory. The Pirates are fined $100 for violating the curfew and Kiner will end up tying Johnny Mize with 40 home runs.
» May 20, 1948:
The Pirates batter the Braves, 130 behind Elmer Riddle's 4-hitter. The Bucs tally eight runs in the 4th inning, with the scoring started by Ralph Kiner's 9th home run of the season. He adds a double in the inning.
» June 20, 1948:
Ralph Kiner hits HRs every Sunday for eight successive weeks in May and June. For the year he will hit 17 round trippers in 38 Sunday games.
» July 5, 1948: Ralph Kiner hits three home runs for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the visiting Reds, while teammate Stan Rojek hits the first of his two ML homers, connecting off rookie Herm Wehmeier. Kiner teams up with Johnny Hopp and Wally Westlake in the outfield for a record 19 putouts in the 103 first game win. The Reds score three in the 9th to take the nitecap, 64.
» July 17, 1948: At Pittsburgh, a Bobby Thomson pinch single drives home the winning run in the Giants' managerial debut of Leo Durocher. The Giants win, 65, overcoming a three-run homer by Ralph Kiner.
» October 3, 1948:
Johnny Mize hits his 40th HR of the year to
again tie Ralph Kiner for the NL lead, as was the
case in 1947. Kiner had hit his final 1948 HR
on September 26. In 1946 rookie Kiner led with 23
to the 22 of Mize, who missed 50 games because of
» September 13, 1949:
For the 2nd time in his career, Ralph Kiner hits
HRs in 4 consecutive at bats, over 2 games. He performed
the same feat in 1947. The 2 HRs today are numbers
33 and 34. Kiner's 1949 total will include 25 on the
road, 29 at Forbes Field, 14 of them in the bullpen
enclosure still known as Greenberg Gardens.
» May 9, 1950: Ralph Kiner of the Pirates hits his 2nd grand slam in three daysand the 8th of his careerand adds a 3-run homer to drives in seven runs as the Pirates beat Brooklyn 105.
» June 2, 1950:
Behind the 5-hit pitching of bonus baby Bill MacDonald (20), the Pirates beat the Braves, 54 to stop a 9-game hitting streak. Gene Mauch homers and drives in three runs for Boston, while Ralph Kiner hits his 10th of the year, off Warren Spahn.
» June 25, 1950: Ralph Kiner leads the Pirates to a 1611 win at Brooklyn by hitting for the cycle, adding a 2nd home run, and driving in eight runs.
» July 11, 1950: Making a leaping, off-the-wall catch of a Ralph Kiner drive in the first inning, Ted Williams fractures his left elbow in the All-Star game at Chicago. Remaining in the game, he puts the AL ahead, 32, with an RBI single. Kiner's 9th-inning home run ties the game, and Red Schoendienst's blast in the 14th wins it. Williams later states he was never the same after this injury.
» August 19, 1950: The Pirates outslug the Cubs, 139, for their sixth win in seven games. Ralph Kiner slugs two homers to put him seven days and nine games ahead of last year, when he hit 54. He has rapped eight this month and four in the last five games. Clyde McCullough adds a bases loaded triple, sac fly, and two-run double, while Johnny Hopp homers. The Cubs answer with homers by Hank Sauer, Mickey Owen, and Roy Smalley, but its not enough. Reliever Bob Rush loses to Murry Dickson.
» May 18, 1951: Catcher Walker Cooper of the Braves goes 5-for-5 in a 123 route of the Pirates. Max Surkont (51) is the winner, scattering 10 hits and giving up late inning home runs to Ralph Kiner and Wally Westlake.
» June 23, 1951: Don Newcombe gives up a first-inning single to Ralph Kiner in beating the Bucs on a one-hitter, 131. The Dodgers jump on Bill Werle (31) and successors for 16 hits, including homers by Carl Furillo and Rocky Bridges.
» July 10, 1951: Exploding for a record four HRs, the NL trounces the AL 83 at the annual All-Star Game, at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. Pittsburgh slugger Ralph Kiner hits a HR for the third year in a row.
» July 18, 1951: The Pirates Ralph Kiner drives in seven runs hitting three HRs, including his 10th grand slam, in a 1312 slugfest win over the Dodgers. His final homer, a solo shot of Erv Palica in the eighth, breaks a 1212 tie. Manager Chuck Dressen berates Palica, publicly questioning the pitcher's courage by clutching his throat in a choke signal. In Kiner's final at bat, in the ninth, Carl Furillo pulls down the sluggers long drive near the CF gate. Garagiola and Bell also homer for the Bucs, while Campanella and Robinson homer for Brooklyn.
» August 1, 1951:
At Pittsburgh, the Dodgers take a 72 lead against Murry Dickson, then make two hits off four relievers and lose, 129. The Pirates score four in the 4th and four more in the 8th, including Ralph Kiner's 27th homer, to win and snap the Dodgers victory streak at 10 games.
» August 29, 1951:
At Ebbets Field, the Dodgers roll to a 131 win over the Reds behind Don Newcombe. Gil Hodges drives in seven runs and hits his 35th and 36th homers to tie Ralph Kiner for the homer lead. He also sets a Dodger club record. Reese has three RBIs to run his total to 77.
» August 30, 1951: The Giants move to an 81 lead after five inning over the Pirates behind two homers by Willie Mays. But George Spencer wilts in the heat and gives up homers to Frank Thomashis first in the majorsand pinch hitter Gus Bell. After Pete Castiglione and Bill Rigney match homers, Ralph Kiner powers one in the 9th inning to give Pittsburgh a 109 victory. For Kiner, it is his 37th.
» May 2, 1953: Pirates OF Carlos Bernier hits three consecutive triples in a 124 win over the Redlegs, the Corsairs 4th straight win. Bernier adds a single and a stolen base. Ralph Kiner and Jim Greengrass match homers. In a stretch of 11 at bats, Carlos will hit four triples, two doubles, and two singles.
» May 25, 1953:
Ralph Kiner becomes just the 12th player to hit 300 home runs with a blast at Forbes Field against the Giants. He has played only seven 1/3 seasons. The Giants win anyway, 63.
» June 4, 1953:
Pittsburgh trades OF Ralph Kiner, along with C Joe Garagiola, P Howie Pollet, and OF Catfish Metkovich to Chicago (NL) for C Toby Atwell, P Bob Schultz, 1B Preston Ward, 3B George Freese, OF Bob Addis, OF
Gene Hermanski, and $150,000.
» August 21, 1953:
ML player reps Ralph Kiner (NL) and Allie Reynolds (AL) hire labor leader John Norman Lewis at $15,000
per annum to give legal advice to players in their negotiations with the owners.
» November 17, 1954: The Cubs trade Ralph Kiner to the Indians for $60,000 plus OF Gale Wade and P Sam Jones. Kiner's home run total fell to 22 in 1954, though he hit .285.
» March 20, 1955: While the Cubs are in Arizona beating their LA farm team, 70, major league baseball is played at Chicago's Wrigley Field. In a rematch of last year's World Series, the Giants beat the Indians again, 73. Mays and Rhodes hit homers for New York, while Ralph Kiner's 9th inning homer is the first score for Cleveland. A crowd of 24,434 is on hand.
» July 18, 1957:
Dodger slugger Gil Hodges hits his 12th career grand slam to tie the NL record of Rogers Hornsby and Ralph Kiner, as the Dodgers edge the Cards 10-9. St. Louis remains a game behind the Phils. The slam comes against the Cardinals Wilmer Mizell.
» September 22, 1957:
Duke Snider's 39th and 40th HRs are the last
that will be hit at Ebbets Field. The Duke of Flatbush
ties Ralph Kiner's NL mark of hitting at least 40
HRs in 5 consecutive seasons. Phillie Robin Roberts,
who has a penchant for throwing HR balls, is the loser,
» June 30, 1960: Dick Stuart blasts three consecutive home runs, as the Pirates split with the Giants. Stuart drives in seven runs and joins Ralph Kiner as the 2nd Pirate to hit three home runs in a game at Forbes Field. Jack Sanford pitches a 3-hit shutout to give the Giants an 110 first-game win. With the 116 nitecap victory, Pittsburgh is three ahead of the 2nd-place Braves.
» June 22, 1961: Roger Maris leads the Yankees on an 83 thrashing of the A's by belting his 27th homer of the year. He adds two doubles and a single. Maris has now hit 20 homers in the past 30 days (May 24 - June 22) to tie the mark set by Ralph Kiner in 1947.
» January 31, 1962: Willie Mays signs the biggest contract in baseball, a reported $90,000 for 1962. They also sign another slugger -- Ralph Kiner joins Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy in the announcing booth.
» August 29, 1965: Willie Mays sets a National League record for home runs in one month with his 17th of August, 41st overall, as San Francisco beats the Mets, 83. Mays tops Ralph Kiner, who slugged 16 for Pittsburgh in September, 1949.
» September 22, 1965:
Willie Mays hits his 50th home run, as the first-place Giants beat the Reds 75. Mays joins Ralph Kiner as the only players in National League history with multiple 50-HR seasons.
» January 20, 1970: Lou Boudreau achieves the Hall of Fame, receiving 232 of a possible 300 votes in the BBWAA election. Ralph Kiner finishes 2nd with 167, 58 votes short.
» July 11, 1973:
In San Diego, the Pirates drub the Pads 102. Willie Stargell contributes the 302nd home run of his career to pass Ralph Kiner as the all-time Pirate home run leader.
» January 23, 1975: Ralph Kiner earns Hall of Fame membership by a single vote.
» June 10, 1992: At Milwaukee, Mark McGwire hits his 22nd homer of the year and his career 200th. It comes in his 2,852nd at bat, and he is the 5th quickest to reach 200. The fastest was Ralph Kiner (2,537), then Babe Ruth (2,580), Harmon Killebrew (2,584) and Eddie Mathews (2,811). Winning for first-place Oakland is Ron Darling (63).
» June 11, 1995: Oakland's Mark McGwire hits three consecutive home runs in an 8-1 win over the Red Sox. McGwire hit two home runs yesterday, giving him a ML record-tying five home runs in two consecutive games. He is the 15th player to hit five homers in two games, and only the 2nd to do so twice in his career. He also hit five homers on June 27 and 28, 1987. Ralph Kiner performed the feat twice in 1947.
» June 20, 1998:
The Cubs Sammy Sosa cranks out his 21st homer in the last 30 days, something no other slugger has ever done. The previous high was 20, set by Ralph Kiner in 1947 and tied by Roger Maris in 1961. Sosa's 30 days go from May 22 through June 22, as noted by the Elias Sports Bureau.
» September 13, 1998: Sammy Sosa hits his 61st and 62nd home runs of the season against the Milwaukee Brewers to tie the National League record of 10 multiHR games in a single season set by Ralph Kiner in 1947. The two home runs pace the Cubs to an 1110 win, and tie Sosa with Mark McGwire for the home run lead.
» June 9, 1999:
Houston defeats the White Sox, 13-4, as 1B Jeff Bagwell hits three home runs and drives home six runs for the Astros. In doing so, Bagwell joins Johnny Mize and Ralph Kiner as the only players in history to hit three homers in a game twice in the same city in the same season. Bagwell is the 1st to perform the feat in a city on the road.