Thinking about what I actually remember about the Tigers from those days, it was Kaline and Harvey Kuenn. I was born and raised in Boston. I paid attention to the Red Sox, but admit (to my embarrassment) that I was a fan of the Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Mantle, Moose Skowron, Yankees.
How could one not have been a fan of Yogi?
Our neighbor, for whatever reason given that he was from Virginia, was a Tigers fan. Having no kids at the time, he took me to several Sox/Tigers games. I remember him telling me to pay attention to Kaline at bat (with men on base). I remember Kaline striking out - and thinking, as a snotty 8 year old, "Berra would have hit a home run." How much we wish we knew what we were watching - and could watch it now.
Both were great players, and I will say that if I have to get one hit to win a ballgame and I can have any player hit (in his prime, of course), I'm taking Yogi. ("You only get so many hits a year. so I'm saving them.")
Al Kaline was a great player and a great person, by all accounts. I remember a play he made at Yankee Stadium, catching a ball while falling over the wall and into the front of the stands. I can still see it.
When I think of the Tigers of that era, I remember how deadly the combination of Kaline, Cash, and Colavito was. Those 1961 Tigers gave one of the great teams a run for its money.