For an entire generation and more, there wasn't a classier, more dignified, icon of what it meant to be a Detroit Tiger than Al Kaline. For 22 years on the field, and twice that off it as a broadcaster, executive and ambassador for the team, Kaline was synonymous with the Detroit Tigers. The Detroit Free-Press published the news that Kaline had died Monday afternoon after confirming it with friend of the family. He was 85.

Kaline grew up in Baltimore and was a "bonus baby", under the rules of baseball at the time. So he came up as a nineteen year old. The Free-Press story reminds that he never played an inning of minor-league baseball. After adjusting to major league pitching, he was a mainstay at Tiger Stadium for the next two decades.

After retiring, Kaline joined another Hall of Famer, George Kell in the Tigers' television booth for over a decade. He stayed on the air until 2001, and then was a special  assistant for the team, right up through the current administration of Al Avila.

The Free-Press story has a wonderful look back at Kaline's life and times.

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Detroit Tigers Hall of Famer Al Kaline 1934-2020


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