Branch of Reason

In 1952, the Pittsburgh Pirates finished an abysmal season with 112 losses -- despite Ralph Kiner's 37 home runs. Kiner later sat down to negotiate his salary with the team's general manager, Branch Rickey:


[We] had a total impasse. We met in California to discuss it. I said, 'I led the league in homers,' and he said, 'What place did we finish?' Well, we finished last, and he said, 'We could finish last without you.'"

[Kiner got a 25 percent cut (from $90,000 to $68,000).]

[So frequently did Kiner's towering shots reach the seats at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh that their resting spot came to be known as "Kiner's Corner." Kiner later adopted the name as the title of his postgame show.]

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