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'I'm In The 7th Inning Now:' Ailing Mets Legend Ed Kranepool Still Searching For Kidney Match

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- If you're a Mets fan, you no doubt know all about the 1969 World Series winning team.

Known as the miracle Mets, one key member of that club is hoping for a miracle of his own. Slugger Ed Kranepool needs a new kidney and a number of people, many of whom are Mets fans, have reached out in hopes of being a match for the franchise's all-time leader in games played.

The 73-year-old Bronx native knows it's getting late in the ballgame.

"I'm in the late stages," he said. "I'm in the 7th inning now."

Kranepool calls the outpouring of support "tremendous."

"People I didn't know, people that were fans over the years that I did things for 50 years ago, 35 years ago, signed autographs," he said.

Kranepool's man cave is a shrine to the game he loves. Baseballs signed by the likes of Sandy Koufax and Juan Charisma adorn the walls along with memorabilia spanning all the way back to his Major League debut at 17. It includes a photo of Ed handing the great Roberto Clemente the official ball after he got his 3000th hit in September 1972.

It would turn out to be his last. Clemente was killed in a plane crash that New Year's Eve.

"I gave this picture to his son and he almost cried when I gave it to him for the simple reason it was probably the last picture of Roberto," Kranepool said. "It was the last hit he ever got in the Major Leagues."

Next season will mark the 50-year anniversary of the 1969 championship season, which captured the hearts and minds of metropolitan area baseball fans.

Kranepool says he hopes to be around to celebrate that occasion.

"Miracles happen, that was a miracle for New York, that was tremendous for the city," he said. "It's something that nobody forgets, they don't let you forget. And I'm glad they don't because it keeps you young.

If you're interested in seeing if you're a match for the former-All Star, reach out to or the Stony Brook Transplant Center at (631) 444-6944.

Kranepool is also offering a limited number of collectors the opportunity to visit him at his home on Long Island to examine and purchase items from his his extensive man cave memorabilia collection. All home visits will be by appointment only, and any sales will help pay for some of Ed's major medical bills from the past year. If you're interested, please contact Martin Gover of Momentum Sports Management, Inc. at (212) 918-4545.

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