Al Kaline Passes Away at 85

Al Kaline died at home yesterday.  He was, simply, the greatest Tiger ever (with due respect to Ty Cobb).  He signed with them the day after he graduated from high school and debuted as a major leaguer a week later.  He played his entire career in Detroit.  He coached for them, worked in the front office, was an announcer for their games for 25 years, and was at their spring training in Lakeland, FL last month.
I’m not going to try to write a full eulogy for him, I don’t know that I’m really a good enough write to do him justice.  Suffice to say that, while I did not grow up a Tigers fan, I was an admirer of him.  I can also honestly say I’ve never once heard anything less than complimentary about him as a person.  Anyway, hats off for the greatest player ever to wear an Old English D.

Here is a link to the excellent Detroit Free Press article, and there are several other good ones at their site about him:


6 thoughts on “Al Kaline Passes Away at 85

  1. I’m so sad to hear that. I watched him play as a kid; he had that incredible cannon of an arm and he owned right field like Charles owns the Duchy of Cornwall. I still smile to myself when I remember what “Spaceman” Bill Lee said about him in the Ken Burns baseball documentary: that he’d been out there in right field for so long he was covered with bird shit.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Mr. Kaline had home runs erased by rainouts in June 1958 and May 1963. If either game had been completed he would be one of 2 players in MLB history with 400 HRs, 3,000 hits and 10 Gold Gloves.

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    1. He was also the only “sweep hitter” I know of using a very long swing that looks impossible. And he was able to succeed at the MLB level straight out of high school. The only other player I know of talented enough to do that was Bob Feller.

      One of my boyhood icons. I feel old.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. A bad day overall, We also lost John Prine, the Raymond Carver of American songwriting, to Coronavirus today at 73. RIP.


    1. I hear ya, Gator. I’ve been a Prine fan since I discovered him in junior high school back in the 70s.

      If you want a wonderful trip through time, check out the following:

      “Give my feet to the footloose, careless, fancy free.
      Give my knees to the needy, don’t pull that stuff on me.
      Hand me down my walking cane; it’s a sin to tell a lie.
      Send my mouth way down south, and kiss my ass goodbye.”

      RIP John.


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