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Al Kaline

  • American athlete
  • Born December 19, 1934

Albert William Kaline (; born December 19, 1934), nicknamed "Mr. Tiger", is an American former Major League Baseball right fielder. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Kaline played his entire 22-year baseball career with the Detroit Tigers. For most of his career, Kaline played in the outfield, mainly as a right fielder where he won ten Gold Gloves and was known for his strong throwing arm. He was selected to 18 All-Star Games and was selected as an All-Star each year between 1955 and 1967.


All of a sudden I'm in the major leagues and we're traveling from town to town. I see the other players dressing different every day. I've got only one suit and I keep wearing it over and over. I'm really embarrassed.




It hurt me a great deal. It put a lot of pressure on me because I was at a young age and the writers around here and throughout the league starting comparing me to Cobb. It put a lot of pressure on me.




You've got to get good habits of working hard so that when that play comes up during the regular season that you're able to complete it and do it the right way.




I started in for the ball but I just couldn't get it. I should have caught it because I was used to catching everything on the sandlots. But they hit the ball a lot harder in the major leagues and I just couldn't reach the ball this time.




What gets me upset about with the newer players is their lack of intensity. They tend to go through the motions a little bit. They don't understand that you've got to practice the way you play.




One reason outfielders don't have stronger arms might be they don't practice as much as we did. Most teams today don't take outfield practice. Another reason is baseball has to compete with other sports now - basketball, football, soccer - for the better athletes that might have more skills and stronger arms.




I didn't know who was on the team, but I saw every eye as I walked down the aisle. It looked like a thousand eyes were staring right at me saying, 'Who is this young punk?' I just kept my eyes straight ahead.




As the days went on, I didn't mind the games. In fact, I looked forward to them. That was the easiest part of all. I couldn't wait to get to the ballpark I'd be the first one there and I was willing to do anything. I think that's why the veterans liked me.




Players shy away from talking to announcers today.




Switching to the outfield was the best break I ever got.




I was very, very shocked about Cooperstown. I thought my chances were fairly good, but I tried to stay low key about it, not too high and not too low. That was the way I played, too.




I'll never forget that first night with the team. Going to the ballpark on the bus was the hardest 30 minutes of my life. I had to walk down that aisle between all the players. I really didn't know too much about the Detroit Tigers at that time.




Carl Yastrzemski was the best all-around player. He could run, throw and hit. He had the ability to play a number of different positions. He signed as a shortstop. He could play the outfield, of course, and third base and first, too. He was a tremendous athlete. Mickey Mantle was unbelievable, too.



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