Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ballplayers' babes: Ralph Kiner

Continuing with my periodical presentation of vintage photos amassed over 30+ years in the sportscard publishing world is this selection of photos of baseball players with their wives, fiancees, girlfriends or others. 

This presentation contains some of a large grouping of similarly themed press photos that were collected over the years by former colleague Tom Mortenson, who was a long-time editor of Sports Collectors Digest.

All of the photos this time are of Ralph Kiner and the women in his life. 

Ralph Kiner had the reputation as a ladies man during his early major league days. Bing Crosby, who was part owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, took Kiner under his wing and introduced him to the celebrity circuit around Hollywood.

This photo shows Kiner at dinner with a 17-year-old Elizabeth Taylor, in 1949.

In 1951, Kiner married tennis pro Nancy Chaffee. At the time she was the 6th ranked women's tennis player in the U.S. The couple divorced in 1968.

This photo, which must have been taken in 1953 or 1954 when Kiner was with the Chicago Cubs, shows him with Miss Junior Rose Bowl.

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