Rookie Card Year: 1954
Investment Rating: 7.5
The popularity of Al Kaline cards and autographed memorabilia can be attributed not only to his Hall of Fame career but also his well-respected personality both on and off the field. Kaline spent his entire 22-year career with the Detroit Tigers, earning him the nickname "Mr. Tiger." His longevity in the game created multiple generations of fans and, as such, his collectibles remain in strong demand.
Part of the elusive 3,000 Hit Club, Kaline could also hit for power, tallying 399 home runs. He retired with a lifetime batting average of .297 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980. Kaline was also an 18-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner in addition to winning the 1968 World Series with the Tigers.
A willing in-person signer, Kaline's post-playing career led him to the Tiger's broadcast booth and the team's front office. His autographed collectibles are incredibly popular, particularly single-signed baseballs and bats.
For more cardboard details about Mr. Tiger, check out a list of the top Al Kaline baseball cards to collect.
Al Kaline Rookie Card Checklist
1954 Topps Baseball is one of the most iconic baseball card sets of all-time. Kaline shares the rookie card spotlight with fellow Hall of Fame players Ernie Banks and Hank Aaron. The set's card design is considered by many to be one of the best in history. A vibrant orange background allows both the colored head and shoulders and black-and-white image to pop off the card. All the essential details including team logo and name, fielding position and player name are adorned along the top of the card. A facsimile signature running diagonally towards the bottom of the card provides a finishing touch
Al Kaline Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Al Kaline's authentic signature looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, Mounted Memories and Tristar.
Al Kaline Cut Signature Exemplar
Al Kaline Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Al Kaline signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:
- A pride of penmanship exists even into his older years.
- The initials "A" and "K" are larger than the rest of the letters.
- The "A' is a capital cursive script and often slightly open, a small closed-loop "l" is legible.
- The "K" is printed and flows into the "a," which is usually closed.
- The "l" this time open with a slight lean to the right.
- The "i" is not dotted, the "n" is small but legible.
- The "e" often has a slight open loop.