Wednesday, January 2, 2013

HOF Sketch Card Project: George Kell

George Kell was a star third baseman who played for the Philadelphia Athletics (1943–46), Detroit Tigers (1947–52), Boston Red Sox (1952–54), Chicago White Sox (1954–56), and Baltimore Orioles (1956–57). A solid right-handed hitter, Kell accumulate career totals of a .306 batting average, 78 home runs, 870 RBI, 881 runs scored, 2054 hits, 385 doubles, 50 triples, 51 stolen bases, a .414 slugging average, 621 walks and a .367 on base percentage. Upon the conclusion of his career, he would go on to become a widely-respected baseball broadcaster for 40 years. Kell was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983 by the Veterans Committee.

I completed this sketch card in November 2012.

10 random facts about George Kell:
  • Kell played his college ball at Arkansas State University, and the baseball facility is named Tomlinson Stadium-Kell Field in both his, and his brother Skeeter's, honor.
  • He was named to 10 All-Star teams during his Major League career.
  • Kell led American League third basemen in assists and total chances 4 times, and in fielding percentage 7 times.
  • He won the 1949 American League batting title by hitting .343, a mark that denied fellow Hall of Famer Ted Williams of his third Triple Crown.
  • Following his retirement as a player, Kell worked as a play-by-play announcer for the Orioles (1957), CBS television (1958), and the Tigers (1959–1963, 1965–1996). 
  • From 1975 until his retirement from broadcasting, Kell was joined on Tiger telecasts by fellow Hall of Famer Al Kaline as color commentator. 
  • In 2009, the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association gave Kell its highest individual honor, an honorary lifetime membership. The association was founded in 1948 by pioneer Tigers announcer Ty Tyson. 
  • Kell served ten years on the Arkansas State Highway Commission (1973–83) and owned a car dealership, George Kell Motors, in Newport.
  • Kell's brother, Everett "Skeeter" Kell, played the 1952 season for the Philadelphia Athletics. 
  • On June 12, 2009, John Putt, III, Postmaster of Swifton, Arkansas (Kell's hometown) sent a formal request to Rep Marion Berry (AR-1), to have the town's Post Office named for George Kell. H.R. 3634 was introduced to the 111th Congress (2009–2010) on September 23, 2009 and on June 9, 2010 it was signed by President Obama and became Public Law 111-180. A Dedication Ceremony was held at the Swifton Post Office on August 26, 2010.

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