Today marks the 32 year anniversary of Al Kaline’s number being retired by the Detroit Tigers. On August 17th, 1980, the Tigers played a double header with the Texas Rangers. Despite both games resulting in a loss, the capacity crowd was able to celebrate the career of arguably the greatest player to ever wear a Tiger’s uniform when the team retired Kaline’s #6 jersey. Kaline spent his entire 22 season career with the Tigers, and has been a part of the organization since his retirement as a commentator and front office official, which earned him the nickname “Mr. Tiger.”
Kaline’s 22 season career started in 1953 at the age of 18 as a late inning outfield replacement for Jim Delsing. From there, Kaline went on to win 10 gold gloves, an AL batting title (1955) and a World Series championship (1968). His career .297 batting average, 399 home runs and 1,583 runs batted in earned him 18 All-Star game nominations as well. Kaline is also a member of the exclusive 3,000 hit club.