47 Facts About Al Kaline


For most of his career, Al Kaline played in the outfield, mainly as a right fielder where he won ten Gold Glove Awards and was known for his strong throwing arm.

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Al Kaline was selected to 18 All-Star Games, including selections each year between 1955 and 1967.

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Al Kaline was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980, his first time on the ballot.

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Al Kaline retired soon after reaching the 3,000 hit milestone.

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Al Kaline worked for the Tigers as a front office assistant from 2003 until his death in 2020.

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Al Kaline was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Naomi and Nicholas Al Kaline.

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When he was eight years old, Al Kaline developed osteomyelitis and had two inches of bone removed from his left foot.

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Al Kaline had learned to throw a fastball, changeup and curveball by the age of nine.

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Al Kaline attended Baltimore's Southern High School, where he starred in basketball and played football until he sustained a cheek injury.

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Al Kaline said that he was a poor student but that he was well-liked by his teachers.

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Al Kaline said that his teachers passed him, believing he would become a baseball player.

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Al Kaline bypassed Minor League Baseball and joined the Tigers directly from high school as an 18-year-old "bonus baby" signee, receiving $35,000 to sign with the team.

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Al Kaline made his major league debut on June 25,1953 in Philadelphia as a late-inning replacement for outfielder Jim Delsing.

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Al Kaline wore number 25 during his rookie campaign, but asked teammate Pat Mullin for his No 6 after the 1953 season ended.

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Al Kaline wore the number for the rest of his major league playing career.

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Al Kaline finished second to Yogi Berra in the American League's 1955 Most Valuable Player Award voting.

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Al Kaline was selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the first in a string of consecutive All-Star selections that lasted through 1967.

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Al Kaline led the league in outfield assists with 18 in 1956 and again in 1958 with 23.

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Al Kaline was out for several games in 1958 after he was hit by a pitch.

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Al Kaline missed several games in 1959 after he was hit by a thrown ball and sustained a fracture in his cheekbone.

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Al Kaline had been knocked out from the blow and initial speculation was that he could miss six weeks of the season.

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Al Kaline missed 57 games due to the injury and Detroit was unable to seriously compete for a pennant due to his absence.

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When healthy, Al Kaline was great in 1962, hitting a career-high 29 home runs and driving in 94 runs in only 100 games.

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Al Kaline experienced pain in his left foot, the one that had been affected by osteomyelitis as a child, throughout the 1964 season.

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Al Kaline tried to ignore the pain, but he saw physicians who thought he was suffering from gout and administered injections.

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Still in pain the following season, Al Kaline saw an orthopedic surgeon who prescribed corrective shoes.

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Al Kaline missed two months of the 1968 season with a broken arm, but he returned to the lineup when Tiger manager Mayo Smith benched shortstop Ray Oyler and sent center fielder Mickey Stanley to play shortstop to make room for Al Kaline in the outfield.

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Al Kaline had two hits, two runs scored and three RBI in the Tigers' 10-run third inning of Game 6.

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In 1970, Al Kaline sustained a freak, near-fatal injury in an outfield collision.

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Al Kaline had turned down a pay raise from $95,000 to $100,000 the previous year, saying he did not feel like he deserved it after hitting.

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Al Kaline batted eight times in two games, registering five hits and three runs scored.

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In March 1973, Al Kaline won the Roberto Clemente Award in recognition of the honor he brought to baseball on and off the field.

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On September 24,1974, Al Kaline became the 12th player in MLB history to reach the 3,000 hit milestone, when he hit a double off the Orioles' Dave McNally.

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Al Kaline holds Tiger career records for games played, walks, and sacrifice flies.

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Al Kaline recorded 84 outfield assists between 1954 and 1958, posting a career-high 23 in 1958.

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Al Kaline was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980, becoming the tenth player in history to be inducted in his first year of eligibility.

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Al Kaline was honored by the Tigers as the first of their players to have his uniform number retired.

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In 1998, Al Kaline ranked Number 76 on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

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On September 27,1999, when Detroit played its last game at Tiger Stadium against the Kansas City Royals, Al Kaline was invited to appear in uniform and present the last lineup card to the umpires.

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Al Kaline did so along with George Brett, former Kansas City Royals' great and fellow Hall of Famer.

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Al Kaline was regarded as a well-rounded player by his contemporaries.

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Al Kaline was just the epitome of what a great outfielder is all about – great speed, catches the ball and throws the ball well.

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Al Kaline continued in his assistant role until his death in 2020.

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Al Kaline did not sign, choosing to play baseball at Florida Southern College.

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Al Kaline married his high school sweetheart, Madge Louise Hamilton, in 1954.

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Michael played college baseball at Miami University and is the father of Colin Al Kaline, who had a short Minor League career and was a college coach.

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Al Kaline died in his home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on April 6,2020; the cause of death was not reported.

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