Al Kaline, RIP

Don Wassall

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I just found out today that Al Kaline died on April 6th.

Kaline was a superstar with the Tigers during the 1950s and '60s, though not quite at the level of Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays. He signed with the Tigers out of high school and was one of the few players never to play in the minors. He hit over .300 nine times and finished his career with 3,007 hits, 399 homeruns and 1,582 RBIs.

Kaline was an outstanding fielder, winning 10 Gold Gloves and was named to 18 All Star games. He was a first ballot Hall of Famer and was nicknamed "Mr. Tiger." And last but not least he was a true gentleman, another shining example of America 1.0 now gone.
 

Flint

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“Big Al” the hero of my youth growing up in Detroit. A great player and a good guy. Kaline was the youngest player to win a batting title. In the ‘dead ball’ era of the 1960’s he could still be counted on to always bat around .300.

He stayed with organization long after he retired as a TV announcer and later as a spring training coach and provided guidance to the club for years.

fittingly he passed the year of no baseball.

He was frequently compared to Roberto Clemente, a player he resembled in playing style, stats, and personality. One of course is a baseball saint, the other nearly forgotten until mention of his death.
 

Freethinker

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For me the first name that comes to mind with the Tigers.
Yes, even for me an older millennial, Kaline is who pops into my head for all time Tiger greats. It really should be Ty Cobb but for some reason it’s Al. Then maybe Allan Trammell since he’s the best from my youth.

RIP.
 

booth

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I didn't see it happen, but I remember reading about the time Al Kaline and Jim Northrup ran together chasing a fly ball. Both players went down and Kaline started to turn blue he had swallowed his tongue and couldn't breathe, Luckily Willie Horton was there to run his fingers between Kaline's teeth and get his tongue from his throat. I think Kaline only missed a few games from the accident. Al Kaline was baseball in Detroit.
 
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