During my chat with Ralph Kiner Thursday, I asked the seven-time National League home run leader what he thinks about the steroid era.
"It changed the whole game; I was very unhappy about that," he said. "It added an element to baseball that was not really real. It was artificial."
Should steroid users ever join him in the Hall of Fame?
"I don’t believe they should. Theoretically it was not illegal in baseball, but nationally it was, and they were using outside help to make those records. What would Babe Ruth had hit if he’d been able to use steroids?"
One more thing about Kiner, for which I did not have room in the newspaper article.
In addition to calling him an "icon" and a "treasure," SNY senior VP Curt Gowdy Jr. said talking to Kiner, with whom he had lunch recently, reminds him of his late father, the famed play-by-play man.
"I have a real close affinity for Ralph because there are a lot of times when I'm sitting there talking to him, whether it’s about politics or baseball, that he really reminds me of sitting down talking to my late father.
"He’s a sweet man, he has a sweet heart and we think the world of him."