Author Archives: ballparkman1955

Former Tigers pitcher Elden Auker wrote an entertaining book, but there is no evidence to his claim in the subtitle that he struck out Babe Ruth

Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Elden Auker wrote in his book that the only major-league player he knew of before he played baseball was Babe Ruth. Even the subtitle of the book is, “A Lifetime of Memories From Striking Out The … Continue reading

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It was a sad day when an ailing Lou Gehrig benched himself in Detroit in 1939 to end his streak of playing in 2,130 consecutive games

“How can I get the same feeling of satisfaction out of it? I’m not giving them the same thing, so I’m not getting the same thing. You think they’re hurting me? But I’m hurting them, that’s the difference.” – Lou … Continue reading

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Dale Alexander, who had perhaps the greatest rookie season in Tigers history, had his career cut short by failed new therapy on his leg

Some might say Dale Alexander started his major-league career 44 years too soon. He was the prototype for the designated hitter, which started in the American League in 1973. The strapping Alexander, nicknamed “Moose” or “Ox,” burst onto the major-league … Continue reading

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The story of Al Kaline’s American League batting championship in 1955 at age 18

After his first 532 at-bats in the major leagues, 20-year-old Al Kaline had a career .274 batting average with five home runs and 45 RBIs. Those are pre-1955 numbers. That season changed everything for Kaline, and he wasted no time … Continue reading

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Al Kaline was a batting champion, a World Series champion, a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer – and he was Mr. Tiger

Although Al Kaline is not considered the greatest Tigers player of all-time – that would be Ty Cobb – he is the unquestioned Mr. Tiger. Kaline had a greatness of his own on the field, and it was solidified when … Continue reading

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Al Kaline’s legacy will last forever in Detroit

The news of Al Kaline’s death felt like an electric shock. He was my youth. By the time I started following the Tigers, Kaline was an established star. He had won the American League batting championship in 1955, the year … Continue reading

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Jarrod Patterson, who died earlier in March, had a few highlights in short time with the Tigers

It is strange how baseball works sometimes. In his ninth season of professional baseball, Jarrod Patterson had to accept a demotion to put himself in a position for the biggest promotion of his career. Prior to the 2001 season, Patterson … Continue reading

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Deacon McGuire spent three of his 26 major-league seasons with the Tigers, but he spent his later years in Albion and is buried there

Across from the Kalamazoo River in Riverside Cemetery in Albion, a headstone features two baseball bats and a baseball. It is the resting place of one of the most prominent catchers around the turn of the century – the 20th … Continue reading

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Kirk Gibson’s home run in Game 5 of the 1984 World Series leads the list of top 10 iconic home runs of all time for the Detroit Tigers

Even in this day of home runs coming at a more frequent rate, when one comes at the right time, it can be shocking and electrifying to fans of the hitter’s team and a dagger to the heart for fans … Continue reading

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A throwback to 1999 when Tigers legend Al Kaline was the subject of a question-and-answer interview

When I worked at The Jackson Citizen Patriot, I wrote a column called 2 ½ minutes. That’s how long it normally took to read it. The column was a question-and-answer format with a topical sports personality. Just days before the … Continue reading

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