He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980, during his first year of eligibility.
Following his retirement in 1974, Kaline joined the Tigers' television team. I hope you knew how much I enjoyed our conversations about baseball, life or just taking pains. "But most of all for 22 years I was able to make my living playing a game that has been my whole life". The cause of death wasn't immediately known, but the Detroit News reported that Kaline recently suffered a stroke.
He never won MVP, didn't end his career with a.300 average or hit 400 home runs.
Kaline retired with 3,007 career hits and 399 RBIs.
"There's a reason why he was Mr. Tiger", said Dave Dombrowski, Detroit's team president from 2001-2015. He is honored with a bronze statute behind the center-field wall at Comerica Park, where the Tigers play today. He was also a special assistant to the general manager.
Kaline was an 18-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award victor in right field for the Tigers.
"There have been a lot of great defensive players".
Kaline's importance to the organization reaches immeasurably beyond his on-field accolades, however.
"Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays and Al Kaline - those are the three greatest players I've seen as far as doing everything - base running, outfield, throw, hit", Martin said. Even after he retired as a player, the next generation of Tigers fans who didn't have the good fortune to watch him play instead grew up listening to his insights, anecdotes and experience as one of the voices of Tigers baseball. "A run in. There's another run coming in and the Tigers have taken the lead".
Larry Herndon was a Tigers outfielder from 1982-88, when Kaline would work with the big leaguers as a spring training instructor.