I really can’t explain why, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Prior to last season of all the ball parks that I ever wanted to visit, let alone the city, Pittsburgh’s PNC Park was slated in at #2 behind Fenway Park in Boston. I think a lot of it has to do with the Pirates’ storied past, the players who played day in and day out in the infamous black and yellow, but it’s really hard to answer that considering that I had never been there. When I finally had the opportunity this last August I was at peace every second I was there. I realize that I’m probably one of a very small percentage that feels this way, but from everything I encountered and everyone I interacted with it quickly became one of my favorite places I’ve ever traveled to. If you ever get the chance to get out to a game, or even just take a trip to the city, make it happen.
Kiner joined the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League in 1943, but within a few weeks he was inducted in the Navy. As a cadet he attended St Mary's Pre-Flight School in California and earned his pilot's wings and commission at Corpus Christi in December 1944. He flew Martin PBM Mariners from Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station in Hawaii on submarine patrols, accumulating 1,200 flying hours and playing hardly any baseball during that time.