MLB Hall of Famer Al Kaline died Monday afternoon in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, according to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. He was 85.
Lowe wrote, "John Morad, a close friend of the family, confirmed the news to the Free Press after speaking with Kaline's youngest son, Mike."
Kaline spent his entire 22-year career (1953-74) with the Detroit Tigers, hitting .297 with 399 homers, 1,582 RBI, 1,622 runs, 3,007 hits and a career .855 OPS. He was an 18-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner, won the 1955 battling title and a World Series title in 1968.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.
MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark issued a statement on Kaline:
A number of current and former players paid tribute to the legendary outfielder and first baseman after learning of his death:
Justin Verlander @JustinVerlander
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.
Matthew Boyd @mattboyd48
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.
"There have been a lot of great defensive players," fellow Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson once said of Kaline, per Joe Posnanski of The Athletic. "The fella who could do everything is Al Kaline."
Robinson was a great fan of Kaline.
"When you talk about all-around ballplayers, I'd say Kaline is the best I ever played against. And he's a super nice guy, too," he said in Kaline's last season, per Lowe. "There aren't too many guys who are good ballplayers and nice guys, too. Your attitude determines how good you're going to be—in life as well as in baseball. He's got a great attitude."
After his playing career, Kaline spent time as an announcer and team consultant, and he was often around the team at spring training and other events.
"To this day, I can't believe the life I've had," Kaline said on his 80th birthday, per ESPN. "I wanted to be a baseball player—and do the one thing I was good at. Even now, I love it so much."