Meet a Teammate-Fan of Teen Al Kaline!

Bob “Red” Wilson spent the 1950s marveling at his job and his co-workers. Today, he’s still making sense of it all.

For starters, he witnessed the arrival of a teen teammate named Al Kaline, who jumped straight from high school to the majors. When did he get a hunch about future Hall of Fame membership for the Tigers phenom?

Wilson replied:

“He could run, throw and hit and was only 18!”

Wilson’s biggest amazement came over his success versus the New York Yankees. For those 21 matchups, Wilson batted a sizzling .354. He served as “designated” catcher for Frank Lary. Wilson saw his batterymate earn a 16-3 record against the noted rivals, in addition to the nickname “Yankee Killer.”

The former catcher summed up:

“Frank Lary and I had no magic. Things just seemed to happen. We both were competitive and enjoyed playing together.

It was a thrill to play baseball in the American League. While the challenge to do well was always a discomfort, you soon realize that condition is present in any job you take pride in succeeding at!”

To learn more about Wilson’s career, check out the masterful bio by Jim Sargent at the SABR BioProject website.

The one unsolved mystery about Wilson’s 1958 season? Where are his arms? Was he baseball’s first contortionist catcher?

Tiger Larry ‘Bo" Osborne Dueled Carl Yastrzemski For (Another) Triple Crown in 1960

Triple Crown winner Carl Yastrzemski nearly ruined another player’s Triple Crown chances in 1960.

Larry “Bo” Osborne bashed 190 home runs in his minor league career. However, with the Tigers and later the Senators, he couldn’t hold a full-time job.

The son of pitcher “Tiny” Osborne, “Bo” noted his epic minor league achievement as his career highlight, writing:

“Signed a football scholarship at Auburn University in January, 1953. Then signed a baseball contract with Detroit Tigers in May, forgoing college scholarship.

Started my baseball career at class A Montgomery, Ala. June, 1953. Class B Durham, N.C. 1954. Class A Augusta, Ga. 1955 and 1956. Started at class AA Birmingham, Ala. 1957. Called up to Detroit in June, 1957. Bill Tuttle CF on disabled list. Al Kaline took over in CF. I played RF. During my ML career, I played several positions. ‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’ First base was my primary position. Also played 3B, LF, RF and caught, all at the Major League level.

Winning Triple Crown in 1960 at Denver was the height of my career. Beat Carl Yastrzemski for batting title last two days of the season. He went 1 for 9. I went 5 for 7.

Best regards,
Larry ‘Bo’ Osborne”

Tiger Larry ‘Bo” Osborne Dueled Carl Yastrzemski For (Another) Triple Crown in 1960

Triple Crown winner Carl Yastrzemski nearly ruined another player’s Triple Crown chances in 1960.

Larry “Bo” Osborne bashed 190 home runs in his minor league career. However, with the Tigers and later the Senators, he couldn’t hold a full-time job.

The son of pitcher “Tiny” Osborne, “Bo” noted his epic minor league achievement as his career highlight, writing:

“Signed a football scholarship at Auburn University in January, 1953. Then signed a baseball contract with Detroit Tigers in May, forgoing college scholarship.

Started my baseball career at class A Montgomery, Ala. June, 1953. Class B Durham, N.C. 1954. Class A Augusta, Ga. 1955 and 1956. Started at class AA Birmingham, Ala. 1957. Called up to Detroit in June, 1957. Bill Tuttle CF on disabled list. Al Kaline took over in CF. I played RF. During my ML career, I played several positions. ‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’ First base was my primary position. Also played 3B, LF, RF and caught, all at the Major League level.

Winning Triple Crown in 1960 at Denver was the height of my career. Beat Carl Yastrzemski for batting title last two days of the season. He went 1 for 9. I went 5 for 7.

Best regards,
Larry ‘Bo’ Osborne”

%d bloggers like this: