Talk:Al Kaline

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Name[edit]

Were Al Kaline's parents chemists or something? How is it that no one ever remarks on his name? Krakatoa 22:01, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

I grew up in Detroit as a Kaline fan and marvelled at "Al Kaline" batteries. I guess you just had to be there then to hear people remark on it. I mean, how often does anyone who isn't a Tigers fan mention him outside of Cooperstown? --Habap 04:10, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I grew up in Detroit in the 1960's, when Kaline was playing, and I occasionally heard references to the "alkaline" nature of his name.John Paul Parks (talk) 00:09, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

NPOV[edit]

"With earlier legend Ty Cobb having been more respected and feared than loved, Kaline is the most popular player ever to play for the Tigers, and possibly the most popular athlete in Detroit history."

Can someone find a way to make this more biassed? I certainly can't. Mglovesfun 21:25, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

How about "Given that Ty Cobb was a racist thug and a walking piece of slime, Kaline is the most popular player . . . ." ? I think that would be even more biased. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Krakatoa (talkcontribs)
But, MG, it is actually true. Kaline is probably the most revered athlete in Detroit history. It would help if we had a source stating that, but with his long, successful playing career followed by a successful tenure in the broadcast booth, it is hard to imagine an athlete who would surpass his popularity. Cobb had a dark side that was visible to all, while no football, hockey or basketball stars have had his longevity without blemishes. Perhaps if Alan Trammel was still managing the Tigers, he might some day approach it.... --Habap 16:39, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Definitely the most popular Tiger given his playing and broadcast careers taken together. (Cobb didn't hang around after his playing days were completed.) Most popular athlete in Detroit sports history? I'd say Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman are close. Howenstein115 (talk) 20:32, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Don't forget Barry Sanders or Isiah Thomas, who also spent their entire careers in the Motor City. Although for overall greatness, Howe, Yzerman and Kaline are a toss-up.Mdb1370 (talk) 09:22, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Disputed fact[edit]

The article says: "In 1955, Kaline hit .340 for the season, becoming the youngest player ever to win the American League batting title, when he was one day younger than Tigers hall-of-famer Ty Cobb."

Kaline was born December 19, 1934, and Cobb on December 18, 1886. That makes Kaline 48 years and one day younger. So, it would seem that on any given calendar day in 1955, Kaline would be a day younger than was Cobb in 1907. Fact is, they were exactly the same age to the day on every day of the respective years of 1907 and 1955. Cobb lost a day because 1900 was not a leap year. It's a tie! (See [1] for the details.) WHPratt (talk) 01:59, 11 February 2009 (UTC)WHPratt —Preceding unsigned comment added by WHPratt (talkcontribs) 01:57, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

As I've done for a few other issues, I'm proving this assertion via some programming. If Microsoft's date-time functions were unreliable, you'd have heard about it by now. This code can be run as a macro inside of MS Excel or MS Word, as well as in Visual Basic 6.


   Sub CobbKaline()
    
   Dim birth_Cobb As Date, reference_Cobb As Date, age_Cobb As Long, _
       birth_Kaline As Date, reference_Kaline As Date, age_Kaline As Long
   
   'Assign birth dates, 48 years apart
   birth_Cobb = "December 18, 1886"
   Debug.Print "Cobb born "; birth_Cobb
   birth_Kaline = "December 19, 1934"
   Debug.Print "Kaline born "; birth_Kaline
   
   'Pick a reference date, the same in each key year (48 year offset)
   'Any date will do, so long as they are the same day and month for both.
   reference_Cobb = "July 4, 1907"
   reference_Kaline = "July 4, 1955"
   
   'Get the ages in days
   age_Cobb = DateDiff("d", birth_Cobb, reference_Cobb)
   Debug.Print "Cobb age in days on "; reference_Cobb; " is "; age_Cobb
   
   age_Kaline = DateDiff("d", birth_Kaline, reference_Kaline)
   Debug.Print "Kaline age in days on "; reference_Kaline; " is "; age_Kaline
   
   'The apparent discrepancy is due to the fact that 1900 was not a leap year.
   'Cobb aged 365 days in 1900, whereas Kaline aged 366 days in 1948,
   '   which was the comparable year.
   
   'To emphasize this, let's see what happens when we cross the 20th-21st
   '  century boundary.  2000 *was* a leap year.
   
   Debug.Print ""
   Debug.Print "-- Repeat logic, simulating 21st century --"
   
   'Add 100 years to everything
   birth_Cobb = DateAdd("yyyy", 100, birth_Cobb)
   Debug.Print "Cobb+100 born "; birth_Cobb
   birth_Kaline = DateAdd("yyyy", 100, birth_Kaline)
   Debug.Print "Kaline+100 born "; birth_Kaline
    
   reference_Cobb = DateAdd("yyyy", 100, reference_Cobb)
   reference_Kaline = DateAdd("yyyy", 100, reference_Kaline)
   
   'Repeat the logic
   'Get the ages in days
   age_Cobb = DateDiff("d", birth_Cobb, reference_Cobb)
   Debug.Print "Cobb+100 age in days on "; reference_Cobb; " is "; age_Cobb
   
   age_Kaline = DateDiff("d", birth_Kaline, reference_Kaline)
   Debug.Print "Kaline+100 age in days on "; reference_Kaline; " is "; age_Kaline
   
   'Note that the birth date defference is not neutralized here.
    
   End Sub

Output:

   Cobb born 12/18/1886 
   Kaline born 12/19/1934 
   Cobb age in days on 7/4/1907  is  7502 
   Kaline age in days on 7/4/1955  is  7502 
   
   -- Repeat logic, simulating 21st century --
   Cobb+100 born 12/18/1986 
   Kaline+100 born 12/19/2034 
   Cobb+100 age in days on 7/4/2007  is  7503 
   Kaline+100 age in days on 7/4/2055  is  7502 

Therefore, Kaline is not, exclusively, the youngest major league batting champion.WHPratt (talk) 16:00, 17 July 2009 (UTC)


The "one day younger" reference is still in the article, even though I've demonstrated that the day in question is illusory. I'd agree that we probably can't go into this level of detail, shouldn't we say that both Cobb and Kaline wo batting titles at age 20 and let it go at that?

Interesting topic: Should we allow a disproven "fact" to stand because it requires a somewhat lengthy explanation? I'd be interested in any comments. WHPratt (talk) 13:20, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the interesting information! I updated the article's reference with the source that you linked to, along with a digested version of the "lengthy explanation", which I put in the footnote. (Note, by the way, that the blogger you linked to concludes that Kaline has the record after all, on a different technicality!) JudahH (talk) 17:11, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
That's not a bad way of handling it. We discussed this on the SABR listserve maybe back in the mid-1990s, and nobody challenged the research. Still, nobody else got the message, and that "one day younger" still turns up in any discussion of Kaline's batting title. WHPratt (talk) 19:49, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
As it does here yet again. Sometimes you feel like giving up! WHPratt (talk) 12:51, 16 September 2013 (UTC)