Today (December 19) would have been the 87th birthday for legendary Detroit Tigers slugger Al Kaline, an 18-time All-Star and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Of all of the Major League Baseball players to ever be born on December 19, none accumulated a higher amount of bWAR than Kaline, who was not only known for what he did at the plate, but also in the field, earning 10 Gold Gloves during his illustrious career that stretched from 22 seasons from 1953 until 1974. And every one of those seasons (encompassing 2,834 games) was played in a Detroit Tigers uniform.
On his birthday, let’s look back at the five greatest games at the plate produced by Detroit Tigers legend Al Kaline
We will look at the five best offensive games of Kaline’s career in this article, using total bases as the measurement.
3 (tie). Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Athletics, June 30, 1956
In a 14-2 road romp, Kaline went 4-for-6 at the plate, logging an extra-base hit with each knock and racking up 11 total bases.
Kaline started the day with a first-inning double off Kansas City starter Alex Kellner, then hit a solo home run off Kellner to lead off the fifth inning. In the sixth, Kaline would hit an RBI triple off Kansas City reliever Jack Crimian and finish the day with a ninth-inning double off Bobby Shantz.
During the 1956 season, Kaline would hit 10 triples, the most of any season during his career.