Born and raised in Baltimore, Kaline signed on with the Detroit Tigers in 1953 as a “bonus baby” straight out of high school. In 1955, at the age of 20, he became the youngest player ever to win an American League batting championship.
From there, he went on to help the Tigers win the 1968 World Series, hitting .379 with two home runs and eight RBI in seven games to beat the St. Louis Cardinals.
Kaline retired in 1974 shortly after recording his 3,000th hit. He finished his career with 3,007 hits, 399 home runs, 498 doubles, 75 triples and 1,582 RBIs — all of which were done while playing with the Tigers.
However, Kaline wouldn’t stay away from the Tigers for very long. Following his retirement, he joined the Tigers’ television team as a color commentator and also worked as a front office official for the team.
Kaline was entered into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980 — the first year he was eligible for the honor. That same year, he became the first Tiger to have his number — No. 6 — retired by the team.
“I was fortunate enough to spend my entire 22 years in a Tiger uniform. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way,” he said in his Hall of Fame induction speech. “If there’s one accomplishment I am particular proud, it is that I’ve always served baseball to the best of my ability.”
Source: Read Full Article