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Al Kaline: The Biography of a Tigers Icon Hardcover – April 1, 2010
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About the Author
Jim Hawkins is a journalist who has worked for the Detroit Free Press and later for The Oakland (Michigan) Press. He is the author of seven books, including The Bicycle Book, One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story, and Tigers Confidential. Ernie Harwell was the play-by-play announcer for the Detroit Tigers for 42 years.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are many plusses and minuses in this book... the positives are presented by the rich detail of Al's childhood (Believe it or not even though Kaline first entered the big leagues over fifty-years ago... this is his first biography.) growing up in Baltimore to very humble parents. His Father worked in a broom factory and his Mother had multiple menial jobs. Despite the need for additional income in the family... they would not allow Al to work. His Dad told him there will be plenty of time throughout the rest of his life to work... he should go ahead and follow his dream... and his passion... playing baseball. That's all Al cared about and that's all he did. Kaline admits to being a lousy student because he believed he'd one day play big league baseball. His teachers believed it also and let him skate by. During the summer Al would play on four to five teams at a time. His Father and his Uncle's would arrange to pick him up from one game and bring him to the next.Read more ›
If you are a fan of Kaline the player, this is a must have and a must read. As much as I appreciated him as a player, I have come to appreciate him more after reading this book. The author takes the reader through Kaline's career, even starting in high school, and one cannot help but see him as one of those rare complete ballplayers. Much of the book is read through quotes of people who knew Kaline through the years, and this really authenticates what people have been saying for years and what his first ballot selection to the Hall of Fame proves - that he's one of the all time greats.
The cover is slick and the printing very readable. There are some excellent pictures in the book - most of which I had never seen. And something else this book covers that is very unusual is that of his salary progression (and negotiations). Quite intriguing to see how it was done before free agency.
Having said all this, I have to include some criticism that is well deserved. The style of writing is amateurish and in some cases reads like a book for elementary school children. The organization is very poor and the editing is terrible. In fact, I wonder if it even had an editor. Another reviewer made a point about identical paragraphs being included in different parts of the book - and this is painfully true. It suggests that the author just kind of threw this book together without any polishing. That makes it a bit of a tedious read at times. Also, this book does not include a statistical table of Kaline's career and it should. This ommission is a terrible failing.Read more ›
Hawkins skillfully covers Kaline's career throughout the frustrating years of the 1950s under managers Fred Hutchinson, Bucky Harris, Jack Tighe, Bill Norman, and Jimmy Dykes. The 1960s began with the blockbuster Easter Sunday trade of batting champion Harvey Kuenn in exchange for co-home run leader Rocky Colavito with the later trade of manager Dykes to the Indians for manager Joe Gordon. Kaline's favorite manager was Bob Scheffing because he was the one who told Kaline exactly what he wanted him to do. Kaline does concede, however, that Scheffing wasn't really that good of a manager. Charlie Dressen was Kaline's least favorite manager, but does say that he was an excellent teacher and possessed a wealth of baseball knowledge.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very readable biography of one of Detroit's all-time greats. The book weaves in and out between Kaline's years growing up in Baltimore, his first years in the big leagues, his... Read morePublished 3 months ago by D. R. Bricault
Al Kaline was my favorite Tiger growing up (and still is). This is a great book about Mr. Kaline . A must read for any Tiger or Al Kaline fan.Published 12 months ago by Corkey
A good solid biography of a man who didn't let pain or disability interfere with his dreams.Published 18 months ago by Dan
Very interseting stories that i haven't heard of before. Like the nick names of some of the 68 Tigers. Read morePublished 23 months ago by R. Sulkey
My husband received this book immediately as a Christmas present.
He immediately started reading it on Christmas Day. He loved the book!