Al Kaline Turned Down a Raise in 1971 — That Would Never Happen Now
In this day of big-time money being thrown around to pro athletes, let me remind you of a story about the great Al Kaline.
Of course, everyone remembers Kaline as the Hall of Fame right fielder of the Detroit Tigers. He played 22 years for the Detroit Tigers. In 1971, the Tigers offered him a $10,000 raise which would give him a $100,000 contract overall. Can you believe that the great Al Kaline was only making 100,000 dollars? I was in the sixth grade in 1971.
Kaline refused this bump in pay. He said he didn’t feel he earned the raise because of the off-year he had. In 1970 he hit 16 HRs,71 RBIs and a .278 BA. Can you believe that! In this day and age that would be a 20 million dollar bonus!
The next year in 1971, Kaline batted .294 which was the eighth-best in the American League. Kaline then accepted the $100,000 making him the first Tiger to earn that much money.
The whole purpose of this article is to show you and everyone how the pay system differs from the good old days to nowadays. I really do believe Al Kaline should have accepted that raise in pay. Because it hurt and had gone against other ballplayers trying to get pay raises. In this day in age, the pay scale for all these pro athletes and ballplayers is unbelievable.
But, if you can get it, I don’t have a problem with it at all. Al Kaline turned down the money. What a story and what a ballplayer he was. Kaline is still to this day regarded as one of the best right-fielders to play the game.