Al Kaline: The Biography of a Tigers Icon

Al Kaline: The Biography of a Tigers Icon

4.3 11
by Jim Hawkins
     
 

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For more than a half century, as a superstar ballplayer, television broadcaster, and front office executive, Al Kaline has personified the Detroit Tigers like no one else. In the Tigers' clubhouse of today, stars such as Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander—neither of whom were even born when he played in the major leagues—respectfully address him as "Mr

Overview

For more than a half century, as a superstar ballplayer, television broadcaster, and front office executive, Al Kaline has personified the Detroit Tigers like no one else. In the Tigers' clubhouse of today, stars such as Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander—neither of whom were even born when he played in the major leagues—respectfully address him as "Mr. Kaline." Tigers fans around the country of every generation refer to him simply as "Mr. Tiger." Now, for the first time, the life and career of this remarkable individual are presented in this compelling new biography. Learn how the skinny, shy youngster with a deformed foot and an undying love for the game of baseball went straight from high school and the sandlots of Baltimore to the big leagues where, at the age of 20, he became the youngest batting champion in baseball history. That achievement marked the start of a first-ballot Hall of Fame career that would carry him to 3,000 hits and a plaque on the hallowed wall at Cooperstown.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781600788239
Publisher:
Triumph Books
Publication date:
04/01/2013
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
475,927
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Jim Hawkins is a journalist who has worked for the Detroit Free Press and later for The Oakland (Michigan) Press. He is the author of seven books, including The Bicycle Book, One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story, and Tigers Confidential. Ernie Harwell was the play-by-play announcer for the Detroit Tigers for 42 years.

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Al Kaline: The Biography of a Tigers Icon 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great biography of Al Kaline, describing how he lived in his 22 years in the majors. It also describes the other players on the various Tigers' teams pretty good.
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Fran_Hart More than 1 year ago
Despite living in the Boston area all my life, Al Kaline was always my sports hero. There have been several books written about him in the past, but this is the most comprehensive overview of Kaline's life that I have ever read. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and usually finished a chapter each night before bed, although probably not a good strategy since I always wanted to see what the next chapter held! Kaline is a remarkably humble person - the antithesis of many of the current-day ballplayers who seek the big bucks and the limelight. Al was the opposite - I mean how many players actually turned down a raise? In this case, it was $100,000 in the early seventies. He was and is an amazing person. To read his story is quite inspirational and the author does a very nice job in getting the details across. Having been a fan of the 1968 World Champion Detroit Tigers as well, I enjoyed all the references to Al's teammates like Norm Cash, Mickey Lolich, Gates Brown, Willie Horton and Denny Mclain, among others. It was an amazing year and Al was truly deserving of the series championship after all he went through in his career. I was always disappointed that he did not become the first American League player with 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. He ended up with 3,007 hits and 399 home runs. He could have easily come back in 1975 to play in enough games to get that 400th home run, but that was not his style. He knew when to quit and that was part of his charm as the classy person that he was. Ironically, local Boston hero, Carl Yastrzemski, ended up being the first 3,000 hit/400 home run American League player! I got to meet Al in 1974 at a Boston hotel while the Tigers were in town to play the Red Sox. I was 19 at the time. When Al came down into the lobby, he was as gracious as he could be. I muffed my words, saying that "I" had always been "his" idol. He knew what I meant and gladly signed my autograph book. (That's what we used back then!) He also posed for a photo with me, which remains one of my most treasured collectibles. He then went over to the hotel desk to do some business and, as he headed out the front door, he turned and said, "Bye Fran." I couldn't believe that he not only remembered my name, but also paused long enough to say goodbye. That was truly a moment etched in my mind forever! Some people have sports or musical heroes, and the time comes that they get a chance to meet the hero, only to find the hero having a bad day and being distant, unfriendly and sometimes downright rude. I count myself extremely fortunate to have met Al in the perfect setting, with the perfect response. These qualities of Al are repeatedly showcased in the book. I would have liked to have seen more family photos and more photos of Al when he was young. I also would have liked a more in-depth treatment of his post-baseball career. However, neither of these affected my thorough enjoyment of the book and my only real disappointment was when I got to the end and there was nothing more to read! I highly recommended this book for fans of Al Kaline specifically, for fans of the Detroit Tigers generally and for fans of stories that feature the insights of amazingly humble, talented people. You will definitely enjoy this book!