DETROIT (AP) — Al Kaline, who spent his entire 22-season Hall of Fame career with the Detroit Tigers and was known affectionately as “Mr. Tiger,” has died. He was 85.

John Morad, a friend of Kaline's, confirmed to The Associated Press that he died Monday at his home in Michigan. Morad, who spoke first to the Detroit Free Press, said he'd been in contact with Kaline's son.

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Al Kaline was my favorite ball player as a youngster. I became a Tigers fan at age 5 in 1962, watching a game a small black & white TV at my Uncle Ivo's. He was simply the best player ever for me. I wore #6 in Little League, in High School, and now during my 40+ year softball career (just managing these days, too decrepit to play any more). I had a Little League coach tell me when I was 10 that he wanted me playing center field one year. I protested, saying I wanted to play right field because that's Al Kaline's position. He said "Son, I need you in center field." So I had to play center field that year.I was pretty disappointed, but it worked because I played a lot of center field after that. It always disappointed me that he tailed off the final 2-3 seasons of his career and dropped below .300 for his career and that he couldn't get that 400th homer. It was my greatest day ever when I got to shake his hand and talk with him 40+ years ago. As has been documented often in the stories being written since his passing, he was as gracious and kind to me as anyone could be. I will never forget that day at Tiger Stadium. RIP Al. I'll be #6 until that day I get to see you again on the other side.


Life time batting average of .297.Historic player.

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