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Friday, February 7, 2014

One Of My Favorite Pens D-Men, Out Six Weeks With...A STROKE!!??

Two posts in one day!  I know. Crazy for me....

But you heard that right in the title...or maybe you heard on hockey news somewhere already.  Kris Letang, a finalist for last years Norris Trophy, suffered what doctors say was a stroke. They don't think it will threaten his career but one can't help but wonder if it could effect his game going forward.  I guess a better question is, should there be a game going forward?

Letang suffers from a small hole in the wall of his heart, a birth defect that occurs in all babies but usually repairs itself.  Doctor's think it may have led to the stroke.  The Pens GM Ray Shero, said he had only one episode of dizziness last week.  As a result, he sat for a few games while they did further tests.  Not until he returned to Pittsburgh did they find the issue.  Right now, he is on the shelf for at least six weeks before they evaluate him again.

He was quoted in the press conference as saying...

"I hope that by making my condition public at this time I can help other people by encouraging them to seek medical help if they experience some of the symptoms associated with a stroke, regardless of their age or general health. It obviously was a shock to get the news but I'm optimistic that I can overcome this and get back on the ice."

Kris is only 26 years old.  26!

Baseball Lost A True Great - - RIP Ralph Kiner

This is probably old news for many of you but it was new to me when I heard about it this morning while watching Olympic coverage.

Kiner doesn't get mentioned all too often in the circle of great power hitters.  Sure you hear about the Babe, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, and others but Kiner did what none of them could.  From 1946-1952, he hit 100 more home runs than any other player in baseball.  He averaged 44 homers and 115 RBIs in each of those seasons.  In 10 MLB seasons, he led the league in home runs his first seven (six of those leading all of baseball).  If it wasn't for some difficult back problems and a lingering injury, who knows what kind of career Ralph would have had.  His 369 career home runs could have been double that or more.

After his playing career, he took a job with the upstart New York Mets organization in their announcing booth and stayed there till the end.

His personality, wit, and charm will be missed by Mets and Pirates fans alike.  But just like with the passing of other legends, his legacy and impact on baseball should be shared with future generations to come.

I thought I would share a few of my favorite Kiner cards in my collection.  RIP, HOFer Ralph Kiner.