Kaline becomes youngest batting king
DETROIT, MICHIGAN *
SEPTEMBER 25, 1955 – A quiet 20-year old kid from Baltimore named Al Kaline became – by one day – the youngest player to win the batting title on this date in 1955. The Detroit Tiger right fielder hit .340.
Despite being 20, Kaline was already in his third major league season. He broke in with the Tigers at the age of 18, never having played minor league baseball. The distinction Kaline took ownership of in 1955 had been held by another former Tiger, Ty Cobb, who was also 20 when he won his first title, but Kaline’s birthday was December 19th, Cobb’s was December 18th
Kaline’s best year may have been his most frustrating. He only played 100 games in 1962 because he broke his collarbone diving for a ball in the outfield and was out two months. You wouldn’t know he missed a third of the season though with his stats – 29 home runs, 94 runs batting in, .304 batting average and .593 slugging percentage. Al Kaline only appeared in one World Series in 1968, but he made the most of it hitting .379 with two doubles, two home runs and 8 runs batted in as the Tigers beat Bob Gibson and the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.