Photo credit: National Baseball Hall of Fame Library

Al Kaline

Albert William Kaline
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 2015
Connection to Michigan: Detroit Tigers
Primary position: Right Fielder

Born in Baltimore, Al Kaline was presented with a contract by the Detroit Tigers the day after he graduated from high school. He was in the Major Leagues by the end of June, playing 30 games as an 18-year-old. Two years later, Kaline led both leagues with 200 hits and a .340 average, becoming the youngest player in baseball history to win a batting title. He went on to play 22 years for Detroit, spanning from 1953-1974, earning the nickname of “Mr. Tiger.”

Kaline starred in the 1968 World Series, batting .379 with two home runs and eight runs batted in as the Tigers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in seven classic games for their third World Championship. In his final season, he became the twelfth player in Major League history to reach 3,000 career hits.

In all, Al Kaline was named to 18 All-Star games – including each season between 1955 and 1967 – and was awarded 10 Gold Gloves, recognizing his outfield adeptness and outstanding arm. He finished with 399 home runs among his 3,007 hits, batting .297 in 2,834 games.

After his playing career ended, Kaline served as the Tigers’ television color commentator, a position he held until the end of the 2002 season. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1980, his first year on the ballot, and had his number 6 retired by the Tigers on August 17th that same year.

Copyright © 2018. Michigan Baseball Hall of Fame.