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Baltimore native and Detroit Tigers legend Al Kaline dies at 85

Baltimore native and Detroit Tigers legend Al Kaline dies at 85

Baltimore native and Detroit Tigers legend Al Kaline died on Monday, a friend of Kaline's confirmed to the Associated Press. He was 85.

Kaline was born in Baltimore and grew up in Charm City, where he attended Southern High School. After moving from pitcher to outfield, Kaline earned All-State honors all four years.

After a standout high school career, Kaline was signed by the Detroit Tigers.  Just months after his high school career concluded, Kaline made his Major League debut in June of 1953 at age 18.

Kaline spent all 22 years of his Major League Baseball career with Detroit. At age 20, he won the American League batting title in 1955. Kaline was named an All-Star 18 times in his career and was a member of the World Series champion Tigers team in 1968.

The outfielder was one of four players in the sport's history to have 10 or more Gold Glove Awards and over 3,000 hits, joining Willie Mays, Ichiro Suzuki, and Roberto Clemente.

Kaline joins Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken as Hall of Famers with a strong connection to the city of Baltimore.

After retiring in 1976, Kaline served on the Tigers broadcast team until 2002. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.

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One year ago today, Adley Rutschman became the face of the Orioles' rebuild

One year ago today, Adley Rutschman became the face of the Orioles' rebuild

The Orioles officially got a face of the rebuild one year ago today. 

Adley Rutschman, the former Oregon State catcher, was selected first overall by the Orioles on June 3, 2019, which was the first pick of the team’s multi-year rebuild. 

A switch-hitting catcher, the former College World Series Most Outstanding Player hit .408 and .411 in back-to-back seasons as a Beaver. In each of his last two seasons, his on-base percentage was over .505. His OPS in 2018 and 2019 were 1.133 and 1.327, respectively. 

In his final season in Corvallis, he hit 17 home runs and had 76 hits in 57 games played. He also walked 76 times and struck out just 38 times.

The sixth catcher to go first overall, and the first since Joe Mauer in 2001, he was the first ever selection of general manager Mike Elias as the Orioles began their rebuild toward contention once again.

“I think just to go No. 1 overall is an honor and a tribute to all the people who’ve shaped me into who I am today,” Rutschman told NBC Sports Washington that night. “Just to be able to do that for the people around me, my friends and family, to be the first one for Baltimore is truly a special honor.”

Rutschman played in 37 games after he was drafted for Delmarva, Aberdeen and the Gulf-Coast Orioles, where he slashed .254/.351/.423 and hit four home runs. His fielding percentage was .976 and he tallied 150 putouts. 

He’s been compared to Mauer and San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey in the past, a fact not lost on Rutschman himself.

“It’s an honor,” Rutschman said. “Those guys are phenomenal players, phenomenal athletes, and a lot of them are phenomenal humans. So to be talked about in that same comparison is very special.”

Rutschman will be joined by the Orioles eventual second overall pick in a week, but make no mistake, Rutschman is the face of the rebuild. 

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Orioles in statement: 'We are committed to advocate for the change our country needs'

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Orioles in statement: 'We are committed to advocate for the change our country needs'

The Orioles were one of many teams to release a statement about protests and the Black Lives Matter movement across the country late Tuesday, as nearly every professional sports team has in the last two days.

“Nearly six decades ago, at another low point in our country’s ongoing struggle to understand and rectify the racial injustice our fellow Americans have endured since the inception of our nation, the author James Baldwin warned, ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced,’” the statement began. 

The Orioles statement came amidst a flurry of statements released by MLB teams in the late afternoon.

“Today, as our friends and neighbors experience the same mistreatment of generations ago in the form of engrained, unyielding and institutionally-discriminatory systems that deny justice and equality and provide in their place a steady supply of brutalizing misconduct, compounded in some cases by voices that fan the flames of violence and racism, it is imperative that we face the past and present,” the statement continued. 

The statement concluded with the phrase, “Black Lives Matter,” one of the only team-released statements to reference the specific movement. 

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