Denny McLain on Tigers’ Teammate Al Kaline’s Passing
In the 20 years I’ve been writing about baseball on the internet, I’ve been fortunate to develop hundreds of email relationships with baseball people. Many hundreds.
Authors, artists, historians, museum employees, front office execs, fans -- and yes, even some public relations professionals. And some real characters.
Norm Coleman is one such character, and a unique one. He’s an actor and Ty Cobb impersonator, who performs regularly, often in Michigan, with his-man show. He’s made friends, and maintains some interesting correspondences with baseball types, just as I do.
After reading my piece about Al Kaline Tuesday, Norm reached out to former-Cy Young Award winner and Tigers’ teammate, Denny McLain, for comment, and forwarded the comments to me. Here they are, lightly edited for publication:
“Today the greatest player I ever played with and saw play, died.
“No one could match Kaline’s incredible ability. Al knew how to play. He was our superstar. Whenever he took the field; in the first inning, the fifth, the seventh and the ninth, he just knew how to play. The tougher the game, the better Al performed. He was always in control of his game.
“We will miss Al, but we will never ever forget. One of my idols, Al Kaline. The best I ever saw and one of my best friends. I send my deepest condolences to the Kaline family. I love you guys. One day at a time. Al is now hitting third for our Lord’s All Star team. Amen, Amen, Amen. Denny McLain."
And remember, glove conquers all.
Howard Cole has been writing about baseball on the internet since Y2K. Follow him on Twitter.
Willie Horton and Al Kaline photo by Lauren, Flickr/Creative Commons.