Riley Greene joins elite list of young Tigers All-Star position players

Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins
Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages
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Although he fell short in the initial fan vote, Riley Greene is officially an All-Star. Thanks to a player vote, he'll be headed to Arlington to take part in the game as an American League outfield reserve along with the Red Sox's Jarren Duran and Astros' Kyle Tucker. Greene has certainly been playing well enough to warrant a start (he's indisputably one of the best left fielders in the AL), but we'll take what we can get.

Greene joins an exclusive list of Tigers position players who grabbed All-Star appearances age 23 or younger, and he's the first to do it since Travis Fryman in 1992. Also among them are some legendary figures — lifelong Tigers Bill Freehan and Al Kaline (also a Hall of Famer), and 1953 Rookie of the Year Harvey Kuenn.

This marks Greene's first All-Star nod, but it feels almost certain that it won't be his last. He, along with Tarik Skubal who was also selected by player vote and has a very good argument to start the game for the AL, has been carrying the Tigers on his back throughout the season, and that's after coming back from half a season lost to injury.

Riley Greene is one of the youngest Tigers make the All-Star team, alongside Detroit legends like Al Kaline

Kaline is indisputably the biggest name on this list, beloved by Detroit fans as a lifelong Tiger and member of the 1968 World Series team. He played for Detroit for 22 seasons and received MVP votes in his first season, when he also placed third in Rookie of the Year voting. He got his first All-Star appearance in 1955, when he was only 21, and remained a permanent fixture at the All-Star game for the next 12 seasons. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980 on his first ballot with 88.3% of the vote.

It's much too early to tell if Greene will be able to live up to the legacy of Mr. Tiger (he almost certainly won't have the same longevity, but that can definitely be attributed to how different the game is than it was 50-70 years ago), but getting his name on a list with him is certainly a great place to start.

Greene's selection to the All-Star team at just 23 is a reminder that we've only seen the beginning of what he can do. The Tigers are lucky to have him — if only they can figure out how to build around him.

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