Appling's biggest individual accomplishments were being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964, batting over .300 14 times, being a 7 time member of the American League All-Star team, leading the American League twice in Batting average, once in On base percentage, once in Games played and once in At bats.
He won the first batting title by a White Sox player and in 1969 was voted the greatest living White Sox player.
At his retirement, Appling was the all-time leader for most games played, and double plays by a Major League Baseball shortstop and the all-time leader for putouts and assistss by an American League Baseball shortstop. These records were later broken by Luis Aparicio.
Appling worked as a batting instructor for the Atlanta Braves in the 1980s.