“The secret to being a good hitter is to wait for your pitch to hit… and then hit it.”
Al Kaline played for the Detroit Tigers for his entire 22 year Major League career. Kaline amassed 3,007 hits and belted 399 home runs. Al Kaline was an 18 time All-Star who also won 10 Gold Gloves for fielding excellence.
Kaline is the youngest Major League player ever to win a batting title; he batted .340 in 1955 as a 20 year-old. Kaline was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1980.
It was a joy to watch Al Kaline play. He was a model of consistency at the plate and he was the best right fielder in the American League.
Kaline was at his best in the clutch. He played in one World Series (1968) and batted .379 with two home runs and eight runs batted in. Kaline’s Detroit Tigers trailed the St.Louis Cardinals three games to one and won three straight to win Detroit’s first World Championship since 1945.
Because of a bonus rule, Kaline never played in the Minor Leagues. However it did not hinder his development.
I have had the privilege of watching so many great players over the years. If I needed a “big base hit”, Al Kaline ranks among the top of players I would like to see up there.