Requiescat in pace, Mr. Tiger
April 6, 2020 1:47 PM   Subscribe

Al Kaline, the celebrated Detroit Tigers outfielder and Hall of Famer who never played a game in the minors, won ten Gold Glove Awards, appeared in 15 All-Star Games, and spent 67 seasons with the Tigers organization as a player, TV commentator, and front-office assistant, has passed away at 85.

Kaline scoring the go-ahead run in Game 5 of the 1968 World Series. Ernie Harwell's radio call of Kaline's 3000th hit game on September 24, 1974. Al and George Kell open the Tigers' Opening Day telecast in 1984.
posted by non canadian guy (21 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by shiny blue object at 1:59 PM on April 6, 2020


Another piece of my childhood gone. If you were in Michigan in 1968, you were living in a magic healing land, thanks to the Tigers. This documentary explains why.
posted by acrasis at 2:27 PM on April 6, 2020 [3 favorites]

posted by praemunire at 2:43 PM on April 6, 2020


Even though I grew up many hours north of Detroit, our town's Little League teams would make an annual pilgrimage down south to see a Tigers game. I remember one of my brothers catching an Al Kaline foul ball at one of those games. He eventually got it autographed when some of the Tigers players/ex-players made it up our way for an autographing session one winter.
posted by NoMich at 2:59 PM on April 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

posted by clavdivs at 3:05 PM on April 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

posted by Thorzdad at 3:07 PM on April 6, 2020

my one and only time at tiger stadium was that year, watching that team - they beat the orioles

man, do i feel old

posted by pyramid termite at 3:15 PM on April 6, 2020

posted by young_simba at 3:22 PM on April 6, 2020

posted by axiom at 3:35 PM on April 6, 2020

He signed my Tigers poster at the Detroit Auto Show in 1969 when I was ten. I'm still thrilled about it. I also enjoyed his TV broadcasts with George Kell.
posted by aworks at 4:09 PM on April 6, 2020

posted by JoeXIII007 at 5:12 PM on April 6, 2020

posted by ZeusHumms at 7:37 PM on April 6, 2020

Outliving his longtime rival, Ace Idic.
posted by atoxyl at 7:57 PM on April 6, 2020 [5 favorites]

(Sorry, it's just, I have never once seen the man's name and not thought that.)
posted by atoxyl at 7:57 PM on April 6, 2020

posted by Gadgetenvy at 7:47 AM on April 7, 2020

The two best Tigers players of all-time (if you take Hank Greenberg out of the equation) were polar opposites.

As great as he was on the diamond, Ty Cobb is considered to be a mean, miserable, racist SOB whom no one liked. If you found someone who had something bad to say about Al Kaline, he'd be the first. Kaline was absolutely beloved.

As a bonus baby who never spent a second in the minor leagues, the only jersey Kaline ever wore post high school was emblazoned with the Old English D. Between playing, broadcasting, coaching, front office work and just plain being one of baseball's best ambassadors, Mr. Tiger was the face of the franchise for nearly 7 decades.
posted by bawanaal at 9:21 AM on April 7, 2020 [2 favorites]


what a period looked like to Mr. Kaline.
posted by sfts2 at 10:07 AM on April 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

posted by epj at 1:27 PM on April 7, 2020

posted by dudemanlives at 2:19 PM on April 7, 2020

I've never heard a bad word about Al Kaline.

Someone said in an article I read today that there were better hitters, better runners, and better fielders ... but no one was as good at all three as Kaline. He was only the ninth man to be elected to the Baseball HoF in his first year of eligibility.

RIP and condolences to his family and friends.

Ty Cobb is considered to be a mean, miserable, racist SOB whom no one liked

Or maybe not, after all.
posted by pmurray63 at 7:27 PM on April 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

Baseball and nostalgia seemingly go hand in hand, but when it comes to Al Kaline, the nostalgia is real. That man was beloved by all of Tiger country and beyond. A truly fine ambassador of the game and of Detroit.

My most cherished memory of Al doesn't really even involve him. I was a kid at Tiger Stadium on a sunny summer day in the early 70s and it was Bat Day. Back in those days, Bat Day meant a real Louisville Slugger (28 oz), with a facsimile signature of Al Kaline himself, handed to kids until the supply was exhausted. I sat under the overhang in Kaline's right field and the sound of kids pounding the bats on the floor of the deck above me was deafening. I shall never forget it.

They don't make Bat Days like that anymore. RIP Mr Tiger.
posted by MorgansAmoebas at 6:12 AM on April 8, 2020

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