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Al Kaline died today at age 85

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Kaline went from Baltimore's Southern High School in 1957 to a HOF career with the Detroit Tigers.

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Never played a day in the minors (or college).

One of the 3 great Maryland born players who didn't ever play for the Orioles, along with Ruth and Foxx.

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What Brooks was to the Orioles, Kaline was to the Tigers.   Great player and a humble, unassuming guy.   

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3 hours ago, SteveA said:

Never played a day in the minors (or college).

One of the 3 great Maryland born players who didn't ever play for the Orioles, along with Ruth and Foxx.

You forgot Lefty Grove and Home Run Baker. 

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I remember Kaline and Palmer talking about a game they played against each other probably 15 years ago because Kaline said he was 70 during the telecast. But Palmer said Kaline was the much better player when they faced each other. 

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10 hours ago, jabba72 said:

I remember Kaline and Palmer talking about a game they played against each other probably 15 years ago because Kaline said he was 70 during the telecast. But Palmer said Kaline was the much better player when they faced each other. 

Palmer did pretty well against Kaline, who hit .217/.321/.370 off him.     But Kaline has become an underrated player over time.     You never really hear much about him.   He was an outstanding two-way player who was a 15-time all star and 10-time Gold Glover.    Players like that don’t grow on trees.   

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14 hours ago, SteveA said:

Never played a day in the minors (or college).

One of the 3 great Maryland born players who didn't ever play for the Orioles, along with Ruth and Foxx.

That was because of the bonus baby rule.  Today an 18-year-old would automatically go to Aberdeen or maybe Delmarva if really highly regarded.  Back then there was a rule that if you signed for more than $X you had to spend a whole year or two in the majors, kind of like the Rule 5 now.  So Kaline got 30 PAs in his age-18 season.  But he turned out okay.

All time best players born in Maryland but never Orioles: Foxx, Kaline, Home Run Baker, Cupid Childs*, Charlie Keller, Bill Nicholson, Brian Jordan, Buck Herzog, Dave Foutz^, Billy Werber, Babe Phelps.  Pitchers include Lefty Grove (not really, he won over 100 games for the IL O's), HOFer Vic Willis, and Eddie RommelBobby Mathews never played for the Orioles, but he did play for the NA Baltimore Canaries in '72 when he went 25-18 and led the league in Ks and BBs.

* Childs is a near-HOFer, and he did play six games for the Eastern League Orioles near the tail end of his career.

^ I bet none of you has heard of Foutz, despite his 1887 season where he hit .357, and went 25-12 on the mound. Won 41 games for St. Louis in '86.

Note that I left off Mark Teixeira, because Mark Teixeira sucks.

32 minutes ago, Frobby said:

Palmer did pretty well against Kaline, who hit .217/.321/.370 off him.     But Kaline has become an underrated player over time.     You never really hear much about him.   He was an outstanding two-way player who was a 15-time all star and 10-time Gold Glover.    Players like that don’t grow on trees.   

Nothing against Nick, but Kaline's career is kind of what we wanted Nick Markakis to be.  7-win peak early on, then above-average to near-MVP level for the better part of 20 years.  Big difference was Nick came up at 22, Kaline at 18.  Kaline was a bit odd in that his best year was at 20.  Had some other really good seasons, but never quite up to his batting title and .967 OPS year early on.

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I'd be curious to know how the Orioles missed out on Kaline.  Feel like back then, they should have had the inside track.  And it's not like those late 50s teams were so stacked that he couldn't be put on the roster.

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7 minutes ago, Moose Milligan said:

I'd be curious to know how the Orioles missed out on Kaline.  Feel like back then, they should have had the inside track.  And it's not like those late 50s teams were so stacked that he couldn't be put on the roster.

My guess is he was too expensive.

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25 minutes ago, Moose Milligan said:

I'd be curious to know how the Orioles missed out on Kaline.  Feel like back then, they should have had the inside track.  And it's not like those late 50s teams were so stacked that he couldn't be put on the roster.

 

17 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

My guess is he was too expensive.

He signed in 1953.  The Orioles were a Phillies farm team, and the Browns were in St. Louis with an operating budget of approximately 35 cents.

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1 minute ago, DrungoHazewood said:

 

He signed in 1953.  The Orioles were a Phillies farm team, and the Browns were in St. Louis with an operating budget of approximately 35 cents.

Didn't know that, I thought he'd signed later than that after the Browns had moved.  

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I remember a Palmer anecdote about being a young pitcher going right after a vet with his wickedest stuff, the vet handling it and Palmer's conclusion "well, I suppose he's better than me", and think that anecdote was about Kaline.

A regular HOF at baseball, but an absolute inner circle HOF at person whose name makes a word.

Kaline's ascent following his early peak season didn't flatten nearly so much as Markakis's.

https://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?players=1006678,5930&wg=2

 

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5 hours ago, Frobby said:

Palmer did pretty well against Kaline, who hit .217/.321/.370 off him.     But Kaline has become an underrated player over time.     You never really hear much about him.   He was an outstanding two-way player who was a 15-time all star and 10-time Gold Glover.    Players like that don’t grow on trees.   

First ballot Hall of Famer who got 88 percent of the vote.  

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3 hours ago, atomic said:

First ballot Hall of Famer who got 88 percent of the vote.  

Deservedly so.    But you don’t hear him mentioned much these days.    92 WAR, 29th all time.    He played in the same era as Mays, Mantle, Aaron, Robinson, Clemente and Yastrzemski.    Amazing group of outfielders who all debuted between 1951 and 1961.    There have been 16 outfielders who achieved 90+ WAR, and 7 of them debuted in an 11 year period.   

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