Al Kaline made his Major League debut on June 25, 1953, receiving $35,000 to sign with the Detroit Tigers at the age of 18. Below are a few facts that you may or may not have known that we found to be pretty interesting.
Al Kaline bypassed the minor league system joining the team right from Baltimore's Southern High School
During his rookie year he wore #25. After the 1953 season he asked teammate Pat Mullin for his #6 and wore the number for the rest of his career.
He played his whole career, 22 years, with the Detroit Tigers
In 1955 he became the youngest player to ever win the American League batting title. Ty Cobb was also twenty years old when he won a batting title but Kaline beat him out by a day being born just one day before Cobb.
In 1980 he was elected to the Hall of Fame, becoming the tenth player to be elected in their first year of eligibility.
Infuriating his own teammates as much as his opponents, Ty Cobb did not receive the warmest welcome in Detroit. Arriving August 29, 1905, Cobb made the fans go wild with his first at bat. He hit a line drive over the head of center fielder Eddie Hahn. Although his name was not even listed on the scorecard that day we are sure fans quickly learned his name. He didn't understand the way his teammates played the game and how they could not do the things that he could.To him there was one way to play baseball - his way.
With that his teammates began what we might today consider hazing Cobb. He would be pushed aside at the batting cages, locked out of the bathroom to freeze in hotel hallways, his bats sawed in half and caps crushed. It did not take long for the fights to begin. Although Cobb was said to have been better with his mouth then his fists, he didn't back away from any man.
Ty Cobb was known as much for mastering the art of batting as for his attitude. Owner Frank Navin saw a young man with great potential who could run like the wind. "The kid was crude, but look at him run."
Ty Cobb was the first player to ever be selected to the Hall of Fame. Below is a list of fast facts about one of the greatest ball players of all time. Hope you find them as interesting as we did!
• Ty Cobb has the highest lifetime batting average (.367) of all time.
• Ty Cobb played on three World Series teams, all with the Detroit Tigers.
• Ty Cobb is second on the all-time hit list behind Pete Rose.
• Ty Cobb is one of only two people to hit a home run before his 20th birthday and after his 40th birthday.
• Ty Cobb stole home more than anyone else (54).
• Ty Cobb won more batting average titles than any other person (12).
• In 1936, he became the first player ever selected to the Hall of Fame.
• Ty Cobb became the first ball player to star in a movie, a drama by Grantland Rice, "Somewhere in Georgia."
• Cobb endorsed a chewing gum, a brand of suspenders and underwear.
• He associated with financiers and industrialists, golfed with President William Howard Taft, and visited President Woodrow Wilson in the White House.
• Cobb invested his money into real estate and securities, and owned an auto dealership. His best investment was in a Atlanta-based soft drink company, Coca-Cola.
• Ty Cobb's dentures sold for $7,475 at auction.
To all our Mitchell & Ness blog readers -- below are some baseball trivia questions for you on this Monday morning. Grab a cup of coffee and let's see how much you know.
- When and where was the first World Series game played? Who that first game? The first World Series game was played at the Huntington Avenue Grounds in Boston on October 1, 1903. In that first game, the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Boston Americans (now Red Sox) 7-3. Pittsburgh went on to take 3 of the first 4 games. The Americans then went on to win 4 games in a row to take the series 5 games to 3.
In the photo below, fans scale the wall at the Huntington Avenue Grounds prior to game three of the 1903 World Series.
- Which MLB team once held spring training in Bermuda? They New York Yankees trained in Hamilton, Bermuda in the spring of 1913.
- What was the first team to win three World Series Championships in a row? The New York Yankees were the first to win three World Series in a row. They actually won four in a row in 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939.
- What were the first MLB teams to do their spring training in Florida? In 1913, the Chicago Cubs trained in Tampa, and the Cleveland Indians trained In Pensacola.
- Who scored the one millionth run in MLB history? Bob Watson of the Houston Astros scored baseball's one millionth run on a three-run home run by teammate Milt May on May 4, 1975. The Astros played the Giants on that day.
- What MLB team holds the record for most home runs in a game? The record is held by the Toronto Blue Jays who scored 10 home runs on September 14, 1987 against the Baltimore Orioles in Toronto. Catcher Ernie Whitt led the Blue Jays with three home runs.
- When was the All-Star game first played at night? The first game played at night was on July 13, 1943 in Shibe Park in Philadelphia. The American League won that game, 5-3.
- Who was the first player to have his signature branded into a Louisville Slugger Bat? In 1905, John Peter "Honus" Wagner was the first player. Honus was also one of the Hall of Fame's five original inductees in 1936.
- Who were the first two players to win the Major League Baseball's Most Valuable Player (MVP) award? Baseball's MVP award has been in existence since 1931. In that first year, Lefty Grove, a pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics, won the award for the American League. Frankie Frisch, a second baseman for the St.Louis Cardinals, won the award for the National League.
#1 Draft Pick John Wall wearing a Mitchell & Ness Boston Red Sox tshirt!