(WJZ)- Detroit Tigers legend and Baseball Hall of Famer Al Kaline died Monday at his home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan at the age of 85.
Born in Baltimore in December of 1934, Kaline attended Baltimore’s Southern High School where he played basketball and football in addition to baseball. After his high school career, Kaline jumped straight to the pros where he played 22 seasons with the Tigers.
Kaline became the youngest player to win the American League batting title in 1955 when he hit .340 at the tender age of 20 years old. Though he didn’t win the batting title again in his long career, he amassed more than 3,000 hits and fell just shy of 400 home runs (399).
In continuing his connection to Baltimore, Kaline’s 3,000th hit came against his hometown Orioles on September 24, 1974 against Dave McNally.
#OTD in 1974, Al Kaline’s fourth-inning double off the Orioles’ Dave McNally gives the @Tigers icon 3,000 career hits. Kaline is just the 12th player to reach the milestone. Photo: Doug McWilliams https://t.co/Bso1eSJEWV pic.twitter.com/zPcV8XkLGE
— National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ⚾ (@baseballhall) September 24, 2018
Kaline was an 18-time All Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner in his 22-year career. He won a World Series with the team in 1968 when the Tigers beat Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
After retiring following the 1974 season, Kaline joined the Tigers broadcast team as an analyst, remaining in that role through the 2002 season. He then joined the front office as a special assistant to club president Dave Dombrowski a role that he remained in until his death.
Former Tigers ace and current Houston Astros star Justin Verlander was one of many who took to Twitter to offer tribute to Kaline after receiving the news.
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