Rookie Card Year: 1948
Investment Rating: 5.5
The passing of Ralph Kiner in February, 2014 marked the end of an era for New York Mets fans. Kiner was the team's announcer since their expansion entry into the league in 1962. He was the third longest tenured announcer in Major League Baseball history. However, it was his accomplishments on the field that earned him a place in Cooperstown in 1975. Ralph Kiner cards and memorabilia may not reach the levels of some of his peers, but they are nonetheless a cherished piece of baseball history.
Despite a short career that lasted only ten seasons from 1946 to 1955, Kiner was one of the best of his era. He led the National League in home runs for seven consecutive years between 1946 and 1952 while with Pittsburgh Pirates. A six-time All-Star, Kiner was the consummate professional and a clubhouse leader.
The Ralph Kiner rookie card hails from 1948 Bowman Baseball. Additionally, Kiner has a card in the 1948-49 Leaf set, however, due to the long suspected fact that the set was actually printed in 1949, most credit Bowman as being his primary rookie card. Those looking to pursue a Kiner player collection should know that he did have a handful of cards produced prior to 1948, including cards in the popular 1947 Tip Top Bread. Other 1947 Ralph Kiner cards include Bond Bread, Sports Exchange Mini, the blue-tint R346 and Exhibits sets.
Ralph Kiner cards and memorabilia have long been undervalued in the market. However with his passing there will be a renewed interest in one of the game's most gentlemanly stars.
Ralph Kiner Rookie Card Checklist
The 1948 Bowman Baseball Card set consists of just 48 cards measuring 2 1/16 by 2 1/2 inches. They use black and white photography and a matte finish. The Ralph Kiner rookie card features him in a posed batting stance, most likely taken during spring training or prior to a game. The simplicity of the set has made it a favorite with many collectors through the years.
1954 BOWMAN #45 RALPH KINER PSA EX-MT+ 6.5 HOF
1954 Red Heart Ralph Kiner NM+
1951 Topps Red Back 15 Ralph Kiner PSA 6 (6594)
1954 Bowman #45 Ralph Kiner card EX
Ralph Kiner Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Ralph Kiner's authentic signature looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, Mounted Memories and Tristar. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.
Ralph Kiner Cut Signature Exemplar
Ralph Kiner Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Ralph Kiner signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. As an active member of the autograph circuit, Musial autographs are plentiful. However due to the length of time he spent signing, his signature deteriorated over time. Regardless of the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:
- A pride of penmanship exists even into his older years.
- The initials "R" and "K" are over-sized in comparison to the other letters with the "R" being particularly large, It features a pen stroke that creates two rounded bubbles.
- The pen does not lift as it flows into the easily legible "a", "l" which is small and has a closed loop.
- The letter "p" is unique in that the loop sits in the middle of the vertical line as compared to being on the top and the "h" includes a looped vertical line before forming the hump.
- The letter "K" is distinguished by its flaired lines coming off of the vertical.
- The dotted "i" and "n" are discernible with the letter "e" being small with no opening visible before flowing into the lower case "r" which includes a line that curves back up, off the bottom of the letter.
Ralph Kiner Signed Baseball Pricing
Ralph Kiner Signed Bat Pricing
Ralph Kiner Signed Photograph Pricing
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