Joining the Detroit Tigers straight from high school, an Al Kaline went on to become one of baseball’s brightest young stars. He played mainly as a right fielder and was known for his strong throwing arm, having thrown out two baserunners at home in the same inning. An Al Kaline appearance also could involve playing first base, especially near the end of his career. Kaline was also the team’s designated hitter during his last season. Kaline spent his entire career with the Tigers, earning the nickname “Mr. Tiger” and being the first member to have his uniform, #6, retired.
In 1955, Kaline became the youngest player ever to win the American League batting title. In 1958, his record of 23 assists was considered tremendously high for an outfielder. His versatility was proven by 10 Gold Glove Awards from 1957 to 1959 and from 1961 to 1967, as well as 15 All-Star game appearances. There was also an Al Kaline appearance as a member of Detroit’s 1968 World Series championship team.
Kaline left the league with a record of 3,007 hits, which ranks 25th on the all-time list, and 399 home runs, which is a Tigers record and 43rd on the all-time list. In 1980, he was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1999, he placed 76th 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.
Since 2003, Kaline, together with former Tigers teammate Willie Horto, has worked as a Special Assistant to Tigers President/CEO/General Manager Dave Dombrowski. They threw out the first pitch of the 2006 World Series at Comerica Park.
**Al Kaline Speaker**
Aside from his successful baseball career, possible Al Kaline speaker topics would be his experience as color commentator on the Tigers’ television broadcasts from 1975 to 2002, and as consultant to the team.
**Al Kaline Appearance**
An Al Kaline appearance is draws plenty of fans because Kaline is widely regarded as the most popular player ever to play for the Tigers, and possibly the most popular athlete in Detroit history. Kaline is so popular that there was an Al Kaline appearance during the Tigers’ last game at Tiger Stadium in September 1999. Kaline, along with George Brett for the Kansas City Royals, was seen in uniform and presented the last lineup card to the umpires.
**Al Kaline Endorsement**
Having Cherry Street, which ran behind the left-field stands at Tiger Stadium, renamed Kaline Drive in his honor is probably the best Al Kaline endorsement of his superb baseball skills.
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