Here's another team card with the unexpected surprise of having a Hall of Famer seated with the rest of the team post-retirement: the 1975 Detroit Tigers team card (#18) and Al Kaline.
Kaline is seated first row, third from left, obviously in a photo from 1974 used for the following season. Take a look:
Kaline already hung them up by the time this card came out, reaching 3000 hits for his career in '74, and fashioning a Major League resume that eventually would get him elected to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1980.
In addition to being a member of the 3000 hit club, he also slammed 399 home runs, scored 1622 runs and drove in 1583 himself.
I remember years later Kaline stating that he got so caught up in the 3000-hit hunt that he eventually sacrificed a career .300 average because of it, and it bothered him to that day.
Nevertheless, Kaline completed a career that saw him on 15 all-star teams, garner 10 Gold Gloves, and eight top-10 finished in M.V.P. Voting.
He even managed to have a battery named after him! Alkaline…(just kidding! But it IS funny).
One last thing regarding the card: I love the two teammates in the second row, second and third from left, who seem to be deep in conversation, failing to look at the cameraman when the shot was taken! Too funny.
I can't make out who the players are though. Any guesses?
I DO know that's BIG Willie Horton in the front row, all the way on the right! No mistaking him!
Love the 1975 set for the burst of colors, just like the 1972 and 1976 sets as well...