This happened 50 years ago yesterday. I'm not a big student of Kaline or the Tigers. Obviously Kristol chose to write about this because he was there that day. But the "what might have been" aspect of this story is intriuging, as it always is. Kaline was averaging slightly better than an RBI per game when he was hurt and on pace for a tremendous season.
"What might have been" is often the only consolation long suffering fans have. I'm still convinced if Eddie Lee Ivery hadn't blown out his knee, TWICE, he would have been one of the great running backs of all time. Of course it goes both ways...If the Packers take Barry
Sanders and not Tony Mandarich in '89, does Ron Wolf and then Mike Holmgren and then Brett Favre ever come to Green Bay? Or do Sanders and Favre end up in the same backfield(you want to talk about what might have been!)?
50 years later it seems inconsequential, but on the day and for the season, Kaline and Tigers fans were left to wonder what might have been. This is true in politics as well. What if Nixon wins in 1960? Does he collapse sooner, or not at all? What if Kennedy is killed? And which side on June 6 in Wisconsin will be wondering what might have been.