Al Kaline
Al Kaline

Al Kaline

The Biography of a Tigers Icon
By Jim Hawkins, Foreword by Ernie Harwell


288 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF

Cloth, $24.95 (US $24.95) (CA $27.95)

ISBN 9781600783142

Rights: WOR

Triumph Books (Apr 2010)


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For more than a half century, as a superstar ballplayer, television broadcaster, and front office executive, Al Kaline has personified the Detroit Tigers like no one else. In the Tigers' clubhouse of today, stars such as Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander—neither of whom were even born when he played in the major leagues—respectfully address him as "Mr. Kaline." Tigers fans around the country of every generation refer to him simply as "Mr. Tiger." Now, for the first time, the life and career of this remarkable individual are presented in this compelling new biography. Learn how the skinny, shy youngster with a deformed foot and an undying love for the game of baseball went straight from high school and the sandlots of Baltimore to the big leagues where, at the age of 20, he became the youngest batting champion in baseball history. That achievement marked the start of a first-ballot Hall of Fame career that would carry him to 3,000 hits and a plaque on the hallowed wall at Cooperstown.

Author Biography

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.


Jim Hawkins tells the Oakland Press why everything Al Kaline did in 1955 was right.
The Pontiac Daily Leader takes a look at Al Kaline.
The Detroit Free Press interviews Jim Hawkins about the legend of Al Kaline.
Jim Hawkins stops by MyFoxDetroit to talk Al Kaline.
Jim Hawkins discusses Al Kaline on WDFN.
The Oakland Press presents an exclusive excerpt from Al Kaline.

Press Releases


Al Kaline: The Bio of a Tigers Icon

By Jim Hawkins/Foreword by Ernie Harwell


CONTACT: Bill Ames, Triumph Books, 312.252.1248,


Al Kaline is known as Mr. Tiger for a reason: for more than 50 years he has personified the Detroit Tigers in a rare and spectacular way. From superstar ballplayer to television broadcaster to front office executive, Kaline has been a humble and integral part of the Tigers fabric since 1953.


In the new biography Al Kaline: The Bio of a Tigers Icon, author Jim Hawkins tells the story of Kaline growing up on the "wrong side of the tracks."  His father toiled long hours in a broom factory, and his mother worked in a distillery and moonlighted cleaning offices. But that didn't stop them from supporting Al's dream of becoming a major-league ballplayer.


Hawkins interviews Kaline and those who have known him; shedding light on the Tiger legend's many remarkable accomplishments, including:


  • The beginning of Kaline's career as the youngest player in history to win the American League batting title in 1955
  • Winning 10 Gold Glove Awards, playing in 15 All-Star Games and being a major force on the 1968 world championship team
  • Becoming a member of the 3,000 hit club in 1974
  • Becoming only the 10th player in history to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility
  • His career as a television commentator for Tigers games from 1975 to 2002


Hawkins leaves no stone unturned in this enlightening and comprehensive biography, revealing stories from both on and off the field that have never before been told.  Al Kaline: The Bio of a Tigers Icon is a must-read not only for passionate Tigers fans, but for all baseball enthusiasts who want to become better historians of the game.


About the author: Jim Hawkins began covering Al Kaline and the Detroit Tigers as a 25-year-old rookie reporter in 1970. As the baseball beat writer and columnist, first for the Detroit Free Press and later for The Oakland (Michigan) Press, Hawkins was there when Kaline signed his historic $100,000 contract and when Al collected his 3,000th base hit. The first vote that Hawkins ever cast as a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America's Hall of Fame electorate was, appropriately, for Al Kaline. This is Hawkins' seventh book and his fifth about the Tigers, including a biography of Mark "the Bird" Fidrych and the autobiography of Ron LeFlore, which was published in three languages and made into a TV movie starring LeVar Burton.