Tigers legend Al Kaline dead at 85
The Detroit Tigers lost a legend. Hall of Fame outfielder and franchise icon Al Kaline died Monday, according to the Detroit Free Press. He was 85.
Kaline’s cause of death was not available.
Over 22 seasons — all with Detroit — Kaline established himself as one of the best Tigers of all time. He was selected to 18 All-Star teams throughout his career, earned 10 Gold Glove awards, won the 1955 batting title and led the Tigers to a World Series win in 1968.
During his career, Kaline played 2,834 games — all of which came with the Tigers. He notched 3,007 hits and 399 career home runs, earning himself the nickname “Mr. Tiger.”
Those accomplishments led to the Tigers retiring Kaline’s No. 6 in 1980. That same year, Kaline was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He received 88.3 percent of the vote, and was inducted in his first year of eligibility. At that time, Kaline was only the 10th player in Major League Baseball history to make the Hall of Fame on his first ballot.
Following his retirement in 1974, Kaline joined the Tigers’ television team. After a couple decades in the broadcast booth, Kaline was named a special assistant to the Tigers in 2002. Kaline was set to continue working as a special assistant during the 2020 season.
The Tigers paid tribute to Kaline in a statement, calling Kaline a “pillar of our organization.”
A statement from the Detroit Tigers pic.twitter.com/jftTwj7YRh
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) April 6, 2020
Former Tigers ace Justin Verlander also honored Kaline on Monday, calling Kaline “a kind and generous man.”
Such a kind and generous man who meant so much to so many. I hope you knew how much I enjoyed our conversations about baseball, life, or just giving each other a hard time. I am honored to have been able to call you my friend for all these years. R.I.P. Mr Tiger, Al Kaline.
— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) April 6, 2020
James McCann, Matthew Boyd and many others wrote touching tributes to Kaline.
Mr. Kaline will always be remembered as the greatest Detroit Tiger of all time, but to me he was more than that. He was a friend and I feel blessed to have known him. His wise words about baseball and life will never be forgotten. Thank you, Mr. Kaline. You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/ad4RhYGV3V
— James McCann (@JamesMcCann34) April 6, 2020
Mr Kaline truly is one of the kindest most welcoming ppl Ive ever met. From shaking his hand the 1st day I was a tiger to seeing him every single Sunday at the park, he was always genuine. Greeting every player with kindness and a listening ear. I’m going to miss you Mr Tiger.
— Matthew Boyd (@mattboyd48) April 6, 2020
Rest In Peace pic.twitter.com/aVZLt82tb4
— Daniel Norris (@DanielNorris18) April 6, 2020
Mr. Kaline is a legend. Not only in Detroit or baseball, but just an amazing human being. Mr. Kaline asked me if he and his wife could come to my house and join us for our weekly bible study this spring training. He took time to play with my son and talk to everybody that....
— Michael Fulmer (@MFulmer12) April 6, 2020
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