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Photo of the Day: Ralph Kiner, ladies' man

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

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If you head over to The Google and enter the search terms "Ralph Kiner" and "ladies' man," you get in excess of 1,400 results. One should not need any further proof that Mr. Kiner was a board-certified thief of hearts.

However, in case you are in need of additional evidence, please take a look at the following action-news photographic image ...

(Image: Bob Lemke's Blog)

As noted in the link above, this photo is sourced from Kiner's years with the Cubs toward the end of his career -- i.e., 1953 or 1954. The plainly smitten dame lost in the tractor beam of his gaze is, as you can see, Miss Jr. Rose Bowl. While she's out at the plate, she might just be in on Ralphie Good Times!

Related: Numbered among Kiner's wives were tennis star Nancy Chaffee (Hank Greenberg was his best man for those particular nuptials) and actress Esther Williams. Kiner even briefly dated Janet Leigh and a young Liz Taylor. Among his other rumored paramours were Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner and Jane Russell. (Professional opinion: Ava Gardner uber alles.)

In a 2004 Q&A with Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch, Kiner recounted just how he was able to function as, in essence, George Clooney spritzed with the musk of Burt Reynolds:

At that time few players got a shot at dating the movie people. One of the reasons I was able to was that Bing Crosby was one of the owners of the Pirates. But I met Janet Leigh at Forbes Field when she was working on Angels in the Outfield. She was standing at the batting cage, and I got to know her by talking to her. So that was all on my own.

So that's one part Bing Crosby, two parts boundless charms of Gentleman Ralph Kiner.

That, friends, is a life well lived on the part of Ralphie Good Times.

 
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