Al Kaline signed with the Detroit Tigers right after his High School graduation in 1953. He quickly became a starter and in 1955 he was the youngest player ever to win a batting title when he led the American League with a .340 average. In addition to being a superb hitter, Kaline was also an exceptional fielder with a powerful and accurate throwing arm, often among the league leading outfielders in assists. Despite being a perennial All Star, Al had to wait 15 seasons to get into the World Series. When he did however, his .379 batting average and 2 home runs in the 7 game series helped lead the Tigers to victory over the St. Louis Cardinals for the 1968 World Championship. When Al retired after the 1975 season he had racked up a total of 3007 hits including 399 home runs. He also had won 10 gold gloves and been on 18 All Star teams. He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility. After he retired he worked for many years as a color commentator for the Tiger TV broadcast network as well as a special consultant for the team.
July 26, 2014