Saturday, July 9, 2011

1967 Topps Bengal Belters Detroit Tigers Al Kaline & Norm Cash #216

Today's entry for my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards is in honor of Derek Jeter getting his 3000th hit today. He joins this Hall of Famer in an exclusive club of only 28 members. It is Al Kaline, the great Detroit Tiger who shares this card with Norm Cash as the "Bengal Belters", card number 216 in the 1967 Topps Baseball set of 609 subjects. As of July 9, 2011, I have accumulated 542 different autographs in the 1967 set.

Hall of Famer and Detroit Tiger Great Al Kaline signed this 1967 Topps Baseball card during Spring Training 2010 in Lakeland, FL. Mr. Kaline arrives at the ballpark in Lakeland around 8:30am each morning during Spring Training and on March 2nd he was right on time. There was about a dozen collectors waiting for him and he graciously signed one item per person. As you can see, he signed this with a blue sharpie and has a beautiful signature. If you have any 1967 Topps autographed cards, please let me know, as I might need them to further my collection.

Al "Mr. Tiger" Kaline played all 22 seasons in the major leagues with the Detroit Tigers from 1953 to 1974. He started his career in 1953 at the age of 18, signing as a Bonus Baby with the Tigers out of high school. Mr. Kaline mainly played right field, which he was feared for his strong throwing arm, for the Tigers but also played first base and designated hitter during the twilight of his career. He appeared in 18 All-Star games and won a World Series Championship with the Tigers in 1968 beating the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. Al won 10 Gold Gloves awards for the defensive efforts in right field. His career statistics include a .297 batting average with 3007 hits, 399 Home runs and 1,583 runs batted in. Al Kaline was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980 on his first year of eligibility with 88.3% of the votes. After retiring from playing baseball, Mr. Kaline joined the broadcast booth for Tiger games and currently serves as a Special Assistant to the President of the Tigers.

"Stormin' Norman" Cash spent 17 seasons in the major leagues from 1958 to 1974. His career started with the Chicago White Sox in 1958 and played there for two seasons. He was part of a eight player trade with the Cleveland Indians but then was traded again before playing a game to the Detroit Tigers for Steve Demeter. Norm's career blossomed with the Tigers, winning a batting title in 1961 and a World Series in 1968. Norm Cash's career statistics include a .271 batting average, 377 Home Runs and 1,103 runs batted in. He appeared in 5 All-Star games and won the Comeback Player of the Year award twice, 1965 and 1971. Tragically, Norm passed away in 1986 when he drowned on a fishing trip in Lake Michigan. He was 51 years old at his time of death.

To read more about Al Kaline biography, go to and Norm Cash at

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