Friday, February 7, 2014

Exercise: Statements Made Regarding Ralph Kiner

The following are statements about the passing of Ralph Kiner.  Kiner was a star baseball player and 

a broadcaster for many years.  For the purpose of statement analysis, what do you know about each of 

these people from their statements?  What do they reveal about themselves?  Leave your answers 

in the comments section, beginning with the subject's name, and your comments about what is found

within the statement.   Is a personal interest revealed?  Is something from the personality of the 

subject revealed?  These are touching tributes and interests, personality, etc, come from the 


HINT:  Stay within principle.  (highlight  principle if you are able, in your comment).  If 

you analyze in detail, choose just one or two statements. 

PS:  Some of the comments will yield a bit of humor.  I've highlighted a few words as hints.  Also,

this might help:  "Kiner's Korner" was a post game show that was beloved by many.  A guest 

was chosen from the winning team. 

1.  “Ralph Kiner was one of the greatest sluggers in National League history. His consistent power 

and  patience in the heart of the Pirates lineup made him a member of our All-Century Team and, in 

many  respects, a player ahead of his time. Ralph dominated at the plate for a decade, but his 

contributions  to our National Pastime spanned generations. For 52 years, Ralph was a one-of-a-

kind voice of the  Mets, linking baseball's unparalleled history to New York's new National League

 franchise since its  very inception.

I am grateful that I recently had the opportunity to visit with Ralph, whose lifetime of serve to 

baseball will always be treasured by the fans of Pittsburgh, New York, and beyond."

— MLB Commissioner Bud Selig

2.  “Ralph Kiner was one of the most beloved people in Mets history — an original Met and 

extraordinary gentleman. After a Hall of Fame playing career, Ralph became a treasured 

broadcasting  icon for more than half a century. His knowledge of the game, wit, and charm 

entertained generations 

of Mets fans. Like his stories, he was one of a kind. We send our deepest condolences to Ralph's five 

children and 12 grandchildren. Our sport and society today lost one of the all-time greats.”

— Mets Chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon

3.  “As one of baseball’s most prolific power hitters for a decade, Ralph struck fear into the hearts of the 

best pitchers of baseball’s Golden Era despite his easygoing nature, disarming humility and movie-

star smile.

“ 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 ‘Kiner’s 

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.

— National Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson

4.  “All of us at the Pittsburgh Pirates have heavy hearts upon learning of Ralph Kiner’s passing. 

Ralph  was one of the greatest players to ever wear a Pirates uniform and was a tireless ambassador 

for the  game of baseball. He was a treasured member of the Pittsburgh community during his seven 

years  with the Pirates. Our heartfelt sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to his children, 

grandchildren,  other family members and many friends. He will be missed by all of us at the Pirates 


— Pirates President Frank Coonelly

5.   “He was a jewel. He loved the game of baseball. He loved to see it played correctly and smartly. 

He loved to talk baseball. He deeply understood the game, especially hitting.”

— Tom Seaver

6.  “He was my broadcast partner for 10 years. We had great fun during the games. We both enjoyed 

good food and wine. Most of all, he was one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met.”

— Rusty Staub

7.  “He was a player’s guy. We didn’t win a lot in those days. He didn’t try to hide the fact we were 

losing, but he did it in a nice way. I lost a lot of games in 1962 and 1963 and had no problem going 

on with him.

— Al Jackson

8.  “In those days we didn’t have hitting coaches. I was struggling. One September afternoon in 1969

 (Sept. 15), I asked him to come and feed balls through the pitching machine. We talked for about an 

hour. He gave me tips on holding the bat. That night I had the greatest night of my career. I hit two 

home runs off Steve Carlton and we won, 4-3.” (The two two-run homers accounted for all the Mets 

runs on the night Carlton struck out 19.)

— Ron Swoboda

9.  “I loved going on Kiner’s Korner. I enjoyed talking baseball with Ralph, especially learning about 

players from his era. But what really made it special was every time you went on, you got $100. For a 

rookie like me in 1984, $100 was a big deal.”

— Dwight Gooden

“Losing Ralph is like losing a member of the family. His warmth, humility and sense of humor will 

be missed. I’ll always treasure being able to share a broadcast booth with a Hall of Famer in every 

sense of the word.”

— Howie Rose


Statement Analysis Blog said...

Rusty Staub is a chef. He owned "Rusty Staub's" in NYC. Interesting also is that he used "human being" rather than "man" or "person."


Skeptical said...

I don't have time today to try an analysis, but what does stand out immediately is the difference in tone from the "suits" who gave the corporate condolences and the players who knew Ralph Kiner personally and recounted personal and touching anecdotes.

Anonymous said...

Bud Selig - did not know Kiner personally. Uses first and last name first time introducing subject. Lack of “I” pronouns in first paragraph, but “I” in second paragraph. Very impersonal. Only talks about Kiner in the context of baseball/broadcasting. Does not mention his family.

Fred Wilpon - Uses first and last name first time introducing subject. Calls Kiner an “extraordinary gentleman” which is more than just about baseball. Calls him “one of the most beloved people” instead of “most beloved men” or “most beloved sluggers.” Uses pronoun “we” instead of “I”. Not personal. Shows an appreciation of Kiner as a player but also as a broadcaster. Most of the comments focus on his broadcasting. Maybe Fred Wilpon was not very impressed with his baseball career. Which explains why he didn’t call him a “power hitter” or “greatest slugger” in the introduction of Kiner. Mentions his family.

Jeff Idelson - Calls Kiner as a “power hitter.” Does not use his last name. Talks about his personality. In the second paragraph he talks about how Kiner made other people feel, rather than how Jeff Idelson feels. Uses his name only once. I think this means he didn’t know him personally. I think Jeff is trying to imply he knew him better with talking about things he knew Kiner did but wasn’t around for. Does not mention his family.

Frank Coonelly - Much more personal. “All of us.” Uses first and last name. Gives him lots of labels: “one of the greatest players” and “tireless ambassador” and “treasured member.” Qualifies “one of the greatest players” with “to ever wear a Pirates uniform.” Uses pronoun “our” instead of “my.” Mentions his family.

Tom Seaver - Doesn’t say Kiner’s name. Calls him a “jewel” first, shows priority. I think that means that he doesn’t think he was a great athlete. He talks secondly about how he “loved” baseball. I think this means that only knew him when he was a broadcaster. When he says “especially hitting” I think that means that Seaver thinks Kiner only knew a lot about hitting and not the other parts of the game. Or they had disagreements about baseball. No mention of family.

Rusty Staub - Doesn’t use his name. Uses personal pronoun “my” right away. Uses “we.” Uses “I” later. Calls him a “human being.” Not impressed with baseball career. Doesn’t use a lot of “I.” I think they had problems. Because he only talks about them enjoying “good food and wine” and having “fun” during games. It’s a weird thing to say about someone who died. No mention of family.

Al Jackson - Doesn’t use his name. Doesn’t call him a great player but a players guy. Uses “we.” They had problems. He had to point out “no problem” which indicates sensitivity. Uses “I” when he talks about the “no problem.” Sounds like he didn’t know him as a player but something above him. No mention of family.

Ron Swoboda - Doesn’t introduce him. Uses “I” statements right away. Shows he knew him personally and not a bad relationship. Because he did something that helped him. Wants people to remember the specific date the winning happened.

Dwight Gooden - Introduces Ralph. Younger than Kiner by a lot. Didn’t know him as a player. He loved going on Kiner’s Korner for the money not to talk with Kiner.

Howie Rose - Introduces Ralph. Says “the family” instead of “my family.” Doesn’t use “I” in the beginning. Doesn’t say “I” will miss his warmth, etc. It’s a passive sentence. Says “I” only when talking about having worked with him.

Lemon said...

"...I am grateful that I recently had the opportunity to visit with Ralph, whose lifetime of serve to baseball will always be treasured by the fans of Pittsburgh, New York, and beyond."
— MLB Commissioner Bud Selig

"…to visit with Ralph…" Subject BS was not close to Ralph Kiner, but may like the reader(s) to think so.

C5H11ONO said...

My take on the quoted:
1. Bud Selig - I have heard of his name, but didn't know he was MLB Commissioner. From what he wrote, I was able tog ather that he is a big Pirates fan. He stated that Kiner has consistent power and patience in the heart of the Pirates lineup made him a member of “OUR” All Century Team. Then when discussing the Mets, he only referred to them as “the Mets”. He listed Pittsburgh first, followed by New York, and then the rest of the teams “beyond”. Pittsburgh is his number one.

2. Mets Chairman and CEO Fred Wilson - I gather he didn’t know him personally. Bud was able to inject an “I” here and there, but Wilson stated “We" throughout. He also wrote "we extend our deepest condolences to Ralph’s five children and 12 grandchildren.” I’m not sure why he chose to list the condolences to 1. His children and 2. His grandchildren, as opposed to just sending his deepest condolences to Ralph’s family.

3. National Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson

Ralph was only good for 10 years. The statement “As one of baseball’s most prolific power hitters, Ralph struck fear into the hearts of the best pitchers of baseball’s Golden Era” would have worked well without the added “for a decade” Could he be resentful of Ralph’s hobnobbing with the rich and famous, since in this Obituary he had a need to include Bob Hope?