We had to say goodbye to one of the greats in baseball recently. Al Kaline showed us how to be great on the field and off as well.
Baseball great Al Kaline passed away recently at age 85. This Baltimore native spent all of his 22 years in Major League with the Detroit Tigers. Kaline was a 15-time All-Star who was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1980. He finished his career with 3007 hits and 399 home runs. In 1955, at age 20, Kaline led the American League in hitting – batting .340. Al Kaline remains the youngest player ever to win a batting title. Kaline also ran well; he was an excellent outfielder with a strong throwing arm who won 10 Gold Gloves.
Al Kaline was consistently great; however, he was at his best in the clutch! He appeared in one World Series (1968) and batted .379 and helped the Tigers overcome a 3 games to 1 deficit to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals. Kaline also excelled in his other Post-Season appearance – the 1972 American League Championship Series. Al Kaline was the best right fielder in the American League for most of his 22 MLB seasons. Al Kaline came to Victory Field in Indianapolis five years ago.
I had the pleasure of interviewing him. He was kind, considerate, outgoing, and as sharp as could be! Kaline played a major role with the Tigers in his post-playing days; first as a broadcaster and then as a special assistant to the General Manager. Those of us who were privileged to watch him play always will remember the dedication, passion, and intensity that he brought to the Ballpark every day. Those qualities helped make him become a great player!
Every person who interacted with Kaline said the same thing – he was a gentleman and had a fun, competitive spirit. That’s why he was recognized as the 1970 Fred Hutchison Award winner, due to his “character and competitive spirit.” Justin Verlander shared some truly heartwarming words on Twitter:
“Such a kind and generous man who meant so much to so many. I hope you knew how much I enjoyed our conversations about baseball, life, or just giving each other a hard time. I am honored to have been able to call you my friend for all these years. R.I.P. Mr Tiger, Al Kaline.”
What does the characteristic of being a gentleman mean to you? How would this impact your day-to-day life? For many, it means gaining respect from their peers and having a stable moral compass. Others believe it’s a culmination of your outward appearance, the way you speak, or even the way you shake hands. Much of this can be applied to the world of business. How you carry yourself and the way you handle your professional life will have a big impact on how successful you are in your endeavors. You need to have these kinds of workplace relationships, especially if you’re a leader, as Cindy Allen-Stuckey explained in one of her posts.
- People are more likely to go along with changes that you want to implement if you’ve had positive dealings with them. That’s because if they like you and trust you, they are going to be open to your ideas.
- Position relationships give you more time and energy to focus on opportunities to grow your business. That might sound counterintuitive–shouldn’t spending time talking to people take away from getting things done? Instead, good relationships allow us to save time instead of later spending time overcoming problems associated with negative relationships.
- If you have a good relationship with your managers, and with customers, suppliers, and stakeholders, those relationships will help you develop your career. This makes sense: if people know you and respect you, they are going to reach out when they have opportunities.
Remember Al Kaline and the way he handled himself as inspiration in your work and personal life! His memory and gentleman-like qualities will live on.