George Kell came up to the Major Leagues in 1944 under Connie Mack with the Philadelphia Athletics but was traded to the Detroit Tigers during the 1946 season. Always a good hitting, good fielding third baseman, Kell won the American League batting title in 1949 with a .343 average. He beat out non other that Ted Williams by .0002 points. Kell’s final figure was .3429 and Williams’s final was .3427. Kell was not a home run hitter but he was often among the league leaders in doubles and twice led the American League in total hits. Kell’s lifetime batting average was .306. As for his fielding prowess, he often led the League’s third basemen in one or more categories and led the American League in fielding percentage 7 times. He was chosen for the All Star game 10 times. On his final team, the 1957 Baltimore Orioles he was replaced as third baseman by a young Brooks Robinson. George Kell was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983, the same year as Robinson. After Kell hung up his spikes he picked up the microphone and spent 40 years in the broadcast booth, doing both radio and TV, almost entirely for his old team, the Detroit Tigers.
January 17, 2017