WOR, Ralph Kiner, Tradition & the Mets
When I read the Daily News article about the Mets’ radio broadcast transition over to WOR, and how Ed Coleman barely made it over and Howie Rose was taken over ‘grudgingly’ and that Josh Lewin wasn’t a sure thing, and how WOR didn’t want continuity, none of it made sense to me. A good baseball broadcast teams are a thing held in reverence. Fans of other teams with inferior broadcasters who play the Mets openly confess to enjoying being able to listen to our TV booth or our radio team. Even fans who hate their team’s broadcasters admit that it would feel odd if they were gone. There isn’t a guy in the 20-35 demographic who’s thinking, “Gosh, I’d listen to the Mets on the radio if only they had someone new and exciting!” You’re not going to suddenly attract new advertisers by getting a different team in the booth.
You will, however, turn off everyone who grew up with Howie and grew to appreciate Josh and their cameraderie, which seems to me to be a greater loss. But, like management everywhere since the dawn of time, they have to put their mark on the new thing they just bought just to say that they did.
I thought about all of this when the announcement of Ralph Kiner’s death began filtering through social media. Instantly my feeds filled up. I have one baseball-only account and another ‘civilian’ one and the tributes and respect flew thick and fast, young and old, male and female, all across the country. There are certainly differences in baseball fandom but respect for the game’s history is something that is not ever going to go out of style. Howie Rose is part of Mets history. Let’s hope WOR comes to their senses.
It is one of the many things I regret the most about coming to baseball so late is that I missed hearing the likes of Ralph in his prime. I do remember watching “Kiner’s Korner” on Saturday nights when I was babysitting and there wasn’t much else on. It seemed odd and funny and almost kitchy, with that paneling in the background. I remember being fascinated by it.
And the Immortal Chris Majkowski, as usual, has the last word:
R.I.P. Ralph Kiner. Say hi to Murph and Lindsey for us when you get up there.
— Mets Booth (@MetsBooth) February 6, 2014