Weekly Standard editor and conservative commentator Bill Kristol writes about the play made by Al Kaline 50 years ago this weekend. It was such a surprise to see this story, in such an unlikely place; fascinating too that Kristol was there at the game, taken to Yankee Stadium by his father (the legendary Irving Kristol) and that as a young boy in New York, he was an admirer of Kaline and the Tigers, rather than the Yankees of Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford. It is a very nice blog entry, and in it Kristol links to some other terrific sportswriting on the same subject of Kaline and the injury that broke his collarbone. I am sure that there are other sports injuries in the great history of Detroit sports that must have loomed larger, but few that I can think of which had everybody talking the way that one did. (I think of Gordie Howe's skull fracture but that was well before my time, and at a much larger level, the several on-field tragedies with the Lions -- Chuck Hughes and Mike Utley.) Anyway, Bill Kristol and the writers he links to (Bill Dow from Detroit) really capture the event in some fine writing.
A fully-recovered Al Kaline looking up at the "short porch" in Tiger Stadium the following year in 1963: