Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ralph Kiner recalls being a pilot during World War II

In honor of Veterans Day, ESPN is running several stories by and about athletes who have served in the military. Ralph Kiner joined the Navy after World War II and became a pilot. He tells his story here.

It's a nice remembrance by a member of the "Greatest Generation." Kiner enlisted at age 19 and was on active duty for 3 1/2 years. He made his major-league debut at 23 in 1946, after the war had ended. Kiner writes:
"But luckily, I was young enough to handle my time in the service and then come right back and play. I always get a kick out of young guys these days missing a small amount of time and then talking about having to get back in shape. When you are young, you can get back in shape in a week, tops!"
One can only imagine what Kiner really thought of the 2009 Mets.

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