Hershey Bears fans are mourning the loss of former Hershey Bear, Ralph Keller. Ralph, one of the best defensemen to touch AHL ice, won two Calder Cups with the Bears. He played in the AHL for thirteen seasons spanning from 1954 to 1974. He is the current leader in games played for the Hershey Bears coming in at a total of 737 games. In those he also tallied 408 points making him the all time leader in points by a defensemen for the club. He earned two Calder Cup Championships while in Hershey and was even captain of the 1973-74 team who beat the Providence Reds in a 4-1 series to bring home the cup.
“Today is a sad day for the Hershey Bears organization with the passing of Ralph Keller,” said Vice President of Hockey Operations, Bryan Helmer. “Ralph was one of the all-time greats to wear the Chocolate and White. He was part of our family, and he will be dearly missed. The entire organization offers our condolences to Ralph’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
Ralph is one of six defenders in AHL history to score more than 100 career goals coming in with 111 in his thirteen seasons. He was inducted into the Hershey Bears Hockey Club Hall of fame in 2012 and would earn AHL Hall of famer status in 2016. In recognition of his achievements with the Hershey Bears his jersey number three was retired and can be seen hanging from the rafters of HersheyPark Arena and The Hershey Giant Center. Our Hockey club truly lost a legend this week and he will be remembered with a moment of silence at Sunday nights home game in Hershey against the Grand Rapids Griffins.