George Kell, .306 career hitter, dies

March 24, 2009 at 2:03 PM
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SWIFTON, Ark., March 24 (UPI) -- Baseball Hall of Famer George Kell, who was selected to 10 All-Star teams in 15 Major-League Baseball seasons, has died. He was 86.

Kell died Tuesday in his sleep in Swifton, Ark., KAIT-TV, Jonesboro, Ark., reported.

Kell played for the Philadelphia Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles in a career that lasted from 1943 through 1957.

He led the American League in hitting in 1949, denying Boston's Ted Williams the triple crown when he recorded a batting average of .3429 to Williams' .3427. Kell struck out just 13 times that season, a record for a league batting champion.

Kell was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1983. Over his career he played in 1,795 games and hit .306 with 881 runs scored and 870 runs batted in. He finished his career with 2,054 hits. He was selected to the American League All-Star team 10 times, starting at third base six times in the game.

Kell was also a long-time broadcaster, calling Tigers' games from 1959-96.

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