Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. Tiger

1957 Topps
The day after what would have been Ty Cobb's 126nd birthday, perhaps the greatest Tiger of all time, we celebrate the birthday of the most popular Tiger of all time. Al Kaline is 78 years old today.  In honor of his birthday, I will give you some fun and random facts of Mr. Tiger.

-Kaline never played one game in the minor leagues. He made his major league debut in June of 1953, coming straight out of high school.

-In 1955, he became the youngest player ever to win the batting title at the age of 20. His only batting title

-He made 18 American League All Star teams and won 10 Gold Gloves during his 22 year career.

-Because of his stellar play in the field. The right field area of old Tiger Stadium was dubbed Kaline's Corner.

-1968 was his only World Series appearance.  He hit .379 with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs during the seven game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. He later played in the 1972 ALCS vs Oakland.

-September 1974, he recorded his 3,000 hit on the road vs Baltimore Oriole pitcher Dave McNally. It is extra special for Kaline because he was born and raised in Baltimore. 

-He finished his career with 399 home runs and 3,007 hits. Had he hit one more home run, he would have been the first AL player ever with 400 career homers and 3,000 hits. Carl Yastzemski of  the Boston Red Sox later accomplished the feat in 1980.

-His No. 6 was the first number ever retired by the Detroit Tigers

-The year following his retirement in 1974, Kaline joined the Tigers' television broadcast booth. He held that position until 2002, teaming with fellow Hall of Famer George Kell for most of those years.

-Kaline is the boyhood idol of actor Tom Selleck. He wore his signature Tiger baseball cap during the hit show Magnum P.I. because of Kaline and his hometown Tigers

No comments:

Post a Comment