It was the way he carried himself, how he never complained, how although a great player he knew he was not in the same class as Mays, Mantle, and Aaron. It was the way he never made a mental mistake. It was the diving catch to save and end a 1962 game against the Yankees, when he broke his collarbone, video of which does not exist. It was that he was so beloved that in the 1968 World Series his manager made the absurd decision to have the centerfielder play shortstop so Kaline could play right, and somehow it worked.
-- Steve Fehr is special counsel to the NHL Players Association after serving in that role for the MLB Players Association. He was involved in baseball's labor disputes going back to collusion in the 1980s and was, by numerous accounts, a key figure in helping baseball avoid work stoppages in the 2000s. He was also David Cone's agent. And through it all, somehow, he has remained a deeply devoted fan to sports.