MLB community pays tribute after Tigers legend Al Kaline dies at 85
The Detroit Tigers lost one of the best players in the history of their franchise on Monday, as Hall of Famer Al Kaline has died at age 85.
A close friend of the Kaline family confirmed to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press that Kaline died at his home. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Kaline, who was nicknamed “Mr. Tiger,” spent 22 years with Detroit from 1953-1974. He hit .297 in his career with 3,007 hits, 399 home runs and 1,583 RBI. He was named an All-Star 18 times, won 10 Gold Glove Awards, and captured the American League batting title when he was just 20 years old in 1955. Kaline also helped the Tigers win a World Series in 1968.
Upon retiring, Kaline joined the Tigers’ television broadcast as a color commentator. He remained in that role until 2002, and he was a part of Detroit’s front office up until his death.
Following news of Kaline’s death on Monday, several members of the MLB community took to social media to share their condolences.
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
Sad to hear we’ve lost a beloved member of our HOF family one of the nicest and sincere I’ve ever met Al Kaline you will be dearly missed my friend thoughts and prayers go out Louise and family RIP Al
— Wade Boggs (@ChickenMan3010) April 6, 2020
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
So saddened of the news about Mr Kaline. It was truly an honor to get to spend some time with him over the course of my years with the tigers. An incredible player and an incredible human being.
RIP Mr. Tiger pic.twitter.com/jDpdzC9JMZ
— Ben Verlander (@Verly32) April 6, 2020
One of my favorite things about my many spring training trips to Lakeland was walking into that clubhouse and seeing Al Kaline – in full uniform.
I tried never to miss a chance to talk to Al. So kind. So welcoming. So smart. So observant. So interested in everything. RIP, Al. https://t.co/7iA1fn6Htr
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) April 6, 2020
Al Kaline, a baseball legend and the nicest Hall of Famer you could imagine. RIP
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 6, 2020
I have very rarely asked for a photograph with anyone but several years ago I made an exception for my childhood favorite player. Such a gentle and giving man. The great Al Kaline. pic.twitter.com/sukCdpXj9f
— Pedro Gomez (@pedrogomezESPN) April 6, 2020
Heartbreaking. Al Kaline is one of the most wonderful and classiest gentlemen you'll ever want to meet. A huge loss for the baseball world. To anyone who had the pleasure of knowing the man absolutely loved him. RIP, Mr. Kaline. https://t.co/BYhXlLvZhH
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) April 6, 2020
The tributes to Kaline showed that he was respected as much for his kindness and generosity as he was for his incredible play on the field.