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RIP Al Kaline

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I watched about an hour’s worth, the good parts, of the fifth game of the World Series in ‘68 today. Curt Gowdy remarked that every single player in the starting lineup other than Norm Cash was originally signed by the Tigers and developed through their minor-league system. Those were the days my friends, we thought they’d never end...

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Never saw him play, moved to Michigan in 1975 at the age of 5 and didn't attend a Tiger game until 1977....but he was on Channel 4 WDIV's broadcast with Kell for the roaring 80's....and he was a great ambassador in the Tigers front office....he was in many ways the face of the Tigers for me despite having missed his playing career.

Requiescat in pace, Mr. Kaline.

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Too young to watch him play but him and George Kell were the first voices I remember listening to and growing up one so just in that regard he has a place in my heart.

Also the one time I met him he was extremely cordial.   It was the first game of Spring Training 2011 and the Tigers were playing Florida Southern.  I'm at the urinal and I hear a couple familiar voices, I go to wash my hands and sure enough Kaline and Dombrowski were talking while washing their hands.   I stopped and talked to both of them for a couple minutes in the concourse and both were awesome. 

 Anyway  terrible loss and my condolences to him and his entire family.  

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1 hour ago, IdahoBert said:

When you see him in the outfield there’s just a natural fluidity to his movement, a spontaneous choreography that’s utterly immediate and unrehearsed. It’s like he had an inner tuning bar guiding him.

I'd forgotten how wide foul ground was at the old ball park. Not as bad as Oakland used to be but probably cost all the Tigers  that played there ~10% off  their offensive stats.

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I am one of the "pups" around here that didn't get to see him play, but definitely old enough to remember he and George Kell on TV.  Back then it was a treat because not every game was on TV.  God, we were spoiled back then and probably didn't realize it.  George & Al on TV, Ernie & Paul on radio.

And if you're around my age, and if you're dad followed the Tigers, he likely was a Kaline fan.  My dad wanted to name me Albert William when I was born, but eventually went with a family name instead.

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So, MLBN mentioned Kaline playing for one team his entire career and the rarity if a hall of fame player doing that.

Jackie Robinson, 2B

Joe DiMaggio, CF

Ted Williams, LF

Mike Schmidt, 3B

Stan Musial, 1B

Al Kaline, RF

Johnny Bench, C

Edgar Martinez, DH

Barry Larkin, SS

Bob GIbson, RHP

Jim Palmer, RHP

Don Drysdale, RHP

Sandy Koufax, LHP

Bob Feller, RHP

And on the bench, you can have Alan Trammell, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Roy Campanella, Robin Yount, Derek Jeter......

That should win a few sandlot games.

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8 minutes ago, Casimir said:

I am one of the "pups" around here that didn't get to see him play, but definitely old enough to remember he and George Kell on TV.  Back then it was a treat because not every game was on TV.  God, we were spoiled back then and probably didn't realize it.  George & Al on TV, Ernie & Paul on radio.

And if you're around my age, and if you're dad followed the Tigers, he likely was a Kaline fan.  My dad wanted to name me Albert William when I was born, but eventually went with a family name instead.

I was at the very end of Kaline's and Ernie's broadcasting careers when I became a fan.  I only remember Kaline with Frank Beckmann and Ernie with Jim Price.  

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24 minutes ago, Casimir said:

So, MLBN mentioned Kaline playing for one team his entire career and the rarity if a hall of fame player doing that.

Jackie Robinson, 2B

Joe DiMaggio, CF

Ted Williams, LF

Mike Schmidt, 3B

Stan Musial, 1B

Al Kaline, RF

Johnny Bench, C

Edgar Martinez, DH

Barry Larkin, SS

Bob GIbson, RHP

Jim Palmer, RHP

Don Drysdale, RHP

Sandy Koufax, LHP

Bob Feller, RHP

And on the bench, you can have Alan Trammell, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Roy Campanella, Robin Yount, Derek Jeter......

That should win a few sandlot games.

George Brett says hello.

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11 minutes ago, Biff Mayhem said:

George Brett says hello.

Good call.  One of Schmidt/Brett at 3B and the other at DH.  I probably missed another handful of guys.

It was a quick list of guys that I recalled from memory and a few that I wasn't sure had played their entire careers for one team but checked on.  Like I thought Bob Feller had played for a team other than Cleveland, but the only other uniform he put on was for military service.

It was just a random thought that I had based on MLBN last night.

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I unfortunately did not have the opportunity to see Kaline play but I will always love the memories of him and George Kell doing television as a kid growing up in the 80's. Those two seamed to have a unique chemistry together. They filled the void of the Grandfathers (along with Ernie) that I did not have in my life. Rest In Peace, Al Kaline.

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29 minutes ago, diamondhead said:

I unfortunately did not have the opportunity to see Kaline play but I will always love the memories of him and George Kell doing television as a kid growing up in the 80's. Those two seamed to have a unique chemistry together. They filled the void of the Grandfathers (along with Ernie) that I did not have in my life. Rest In Peace, Al Kaline.

they might have been flawed, but I agree that they are the gold standard for me when it comes to TV broadcasting.  They complemented each other well--when Al started, he seemed a bit tentative and deferred to Kell quite a bit, but he became more confident over time and was very good at what he did.  He ascended into the elder statesman role after George retired, and handled it well.

George-Kell-and-Al-Kaline.jpg

 

 

 

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This aired the evening of the final game at Tiger Stadium in 1999. The final few minutes evoke a lot of memories. Here comes Kaline at the 40:30 mark.

 

 

 

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Cool to see Ray Lane.  Miss hearing him saying, "Back upstairs" during Red Wings broadcasts.

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1 hour ago, lordstanley said:

This aired the evening of the final game at Tiger Stadium in 1999. The final few minutes evoke a lot of memories. Here comes Kaline at the 40:30 mark.

 

 

 

I’ve watched this a couple of times in the recent past. I miss Tiger Stadium. I miss the players that played there and the game the way it used to be played. My primary interest in the Tigers is their history and all the unique characters that wore the uniform. The Tigers definitely have had their fair share of unique and interesting characters.

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4 hours ago, Casimir said:

Good call.  One of Schmidt/Brett at 3B and the other at DH.  I probably missed another handful of guys.

It was a quick list of guys that I recalled from memory and a few that I wasn't sure had played their entire careers for one team but checked on.  Like I thought Bob Feller had played for a team other than Cleveland, but the only other uniform he put on was for military service.

It was just a random thought that I had based on MLBN last night.

Mickey Mantle?

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1 hour ago, 1776 said:

I’ve watched this a couple of times in the recent past. I miss Tiger Stadium. I miss the players that played there and the game the way it used to be played. My primary interest in the Tigers is their history and all the unique characters that wore the uniform. The Tigers definitely have had their fair share of unique and interesting characters.

I loved the ceremony that closed Tiger Stadium that day, including Ernie's speech at the end as the lights went out. The one flaw in the broadcast though was that for the first several players who came on the field, their names weren't put on the TV screen, and the banter didn't always identify who they were.

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3 hours ago, lordstanley said:

This aired the evening of the final game at Tiger Stadium in 1999. The final few minutes evoke a lot of memories. Here comes Kaline at the 40:30 mark.

 

 

 

I've never been a Ray Lane fan but this was pretty good. I would have liked to see Fidrych, Trammell and Whitaker interviewed as well.

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2 hours ago, lordstanley said:

I loved the ceremony that closed Tiger Stadium that day, including Ernie's speech at the end as the lights went out. The one flaw in the broadcast though was that for the first several players who came on the field, their names weren't put on the TV screen, and the banter didn't always identify who they were.

I was at the game.  Magical. 

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My first baseball game ever was Tigers vs Yankees , August 1972 at Yankee Stadium. Born and raised in the Bronx, my older brother was the Yankee fan, and just to be difficult I always rooted for the Tigers.  Al Kaline was always my favorite player. I went to the game to see him but he never got in the lineup. I think he was injured. I did get to see him play several times after that, the last time was at Shea Stadium right after he got his 3000th hit. I remember him getting a hit. The Yankee fans knew it would be his last trip to N.Y. and gave him an ovation whenever he came up to bat. Class act! He'll be missed. My favorite baseball memories, Kaline, Cash, Freehan...what a team.

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9 hours ago, Biff Mayhem said:

George Brett says hello.

Honus Wagner should be considered as well.

The team he initially played for (Louisville) was contracted at the end of the 1899 season.

The Louisville owner also a part-owner of the Pirates.  So, knowing his Louisville team was to be contracted,  the best Louisville players were 'traded' to the Pirates for a day-old donut at the end of the '99 season and the remaining Louisville players were released.

There was lots of shady stuff like that in the early days of the league.  The league was **really** fluid as well, so it was a near impossibility to play on just a single team if you both were a long term player and your career started in the 1890s or before.

In any event, the Louisville Colonels merged with the Pirates and the Pirates remained.  Had it gone the other way, Honus would have only played for one team.  As it was, Honus played for one owner / management team and the same core group of players his entire career.  I guess he technically played for two teams, but to me it is a distinction without any real meaning.

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Read today 4 OFers have 3000 hits and 10 GGs:

Al Kaline

Ichiro

Mays 

Clemente

 

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One year the wings playoff slogan was Get Up. Ray Lane was hyping things up and said “let’s get it up”

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I think you have to take Cal Ripken Jr at shortstop over Larkin, and have Freehan as your backup catcher

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