Detroit Tigers: Franchise Four Candidates
By Dave Holcomb
Courtesy of MLB.com
Al Kaline (1953-1974)
With the nickname “Mr. Tiger”, how does he not make the Detroit Tigers Mount Rushmore?
He played 22 seasons all with Detroit and played more games in a Tigers uniform, 2,834, than anyone else. Kaline also finished in the top three in several offensive categories in club history.
Kaline recorded 3,007 hits, second to Cobb in Tigers history and had 1,582 RBI, also second to Cobb. Furthermore, Kaline was second behind “The George Peach” in extra base hits, 972, and total bases, 4,852. Kaline scored 1,622 runs as well, which is behind only Cobb and Gehringer in Tigers history.
“Mr. Tiger”, however, is still Detroit’s home run king as he smacked 399 homers in his 22-year career. His best season came in 1955 when he hit 27 bombs with 102 RBI and won the batting title, hitting .340. Kaline was second in MVP voting that season. He also won a team record 10 gold gloves in the outfield.
Kaline was a member of the 1968 World Series team that beat the St. Louis Cardinals in an epic seven-game series that October. He hit .379 with two home runs and eight RBI to lead the Tigers offense.