The one thing you hear a lot from people who knew Al Kaline was how unassuming he was. About how, despite the fact that he was the biggest sports star in Detroit going back over 60 years, he never acted like a superstar. He never big-timed anyone. To the contrary, he was a nice guy, a humble guy, and he’d talk to just about anyone who approached him if even had a moment of time to do so. He was an “aw shucks” kind of guy that one tends to only see in fiction anymore.
So it should not be at all surprising that Kaline’s family, upon his death, did not simply rely on the big newspaper feature stories and the countless media testimonials to his legacy. Nope, they took out a regular obituary for him in the Sunday Detroit Free Press, on page 25A of the print edition. Albert William Kaline: 1934-2020. Just like you might see for your grandpa or that high school teacher you hadn’t thought about in a while:
— Matt Friedman (@mattfrieds) April 12, 2020
At the end of it it reads, “In lieu of flowers or donations, the Kaline family asks that you reach out to someone you love and check in on them during this unprecedented and challenging time of need, and to be sure to thank our military, police, fire/EMS and front line care givers in any way you can.”
It was never about him. In life or in death. They just don’t make ’em like that anymore.