Al Kaline was one of the last living legends of baseball. He played in an era where his opponents were the likes of Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron. He held his own against names that now feel like mystic figures of baseball’s past.
Through that, Al remained a humble force within the Tigers organization, sticking around year after year because baseball was his life, and in his blood, and he just wanted to impart some of his hard-earned wisdom onto the next generation of great players.
It’s clear that Al left an indelible mark on every life he touched. To be near Al was to be in the presence of baseball greatness, but he treated everyone as being worthy and deserving of his time.
We could have filled a hundred posts with remembrances of him that flooded the internet yesterday, but narrowed it down (barely) to past and present Tigers players, staff, and a few more. Each and every one spoke of his kindness, his generosity of spirit, and how much he will be missed by all those who had the pleasure to know him.
Al Kaline was one of the best people and players of all time! I always enjoyed our conversations and will forever cherish those! #RIPMrTiger— Jake Rogers (@_JROG_) April 6, 2020
"He always would bring it to my attention and say, 'Hey, I hope I make it to your Hall of Fame induction." @JustinVerlander talked about Al Kaline with @WXYZDetroit, holding back tears. "That was my friend." pic.twitter.com/rnDFQ5PZJy— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) April 7, 2020
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
Miguel Cabrera shares a message in Spanish on IG: "Mr. Kaline, you will always be in a special place in our family, one of the best human beings I've known in my life. I'm going to miss those baseball chats with you, my friend. Rest in peace. https://t.co/EROXsokmAt— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) April 6, 2020
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.— Matthew Boyd (@mattboyd48) April 6, 2020
Came over that night. He is truly a legend and will never be forgotten. Thank you for everything you have done for me, my career, the city of Detroit, and all of MLB! Always my Tiger! #RIPMrTiger— Michael Fulmer (@MFulmer12) April 6, 2020
Mr. Kaline will always be remembered as the greatest Detroit Tiger of all time, but to me he was more than that. He was a friend and I feel blessed to have known him. His wise words about baseball and life will never be forgotten. Thank you, Mr. Kaline. You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/ad4RhYGV3V— James McCann (@JamesMcCann34) April 6, 2020
Simply put, Al Kaline was the best. He made a huge impact on my life and I will forever be grateful for having the opportunity to meet him. R.I.P. Mr. Tiger #6— Bryan Holaday (@jbholaday) April 6, 2020
#RIPMrTiger the late great Al Kaline, Your passing is is a heavy blow to the heart of Tigers Nation. Honored, to sit and talk baseball with you, and to see you interact with fans. A true Professional. Your knowledge, personality,and Heart will be missed. Prayers to your family❤️— Phil Coke (@my_real_brain) April 6, 2020
Mr. Kaline— Andy Dirks (@AndyDirks12) April 6, 2020
News of Al Kaline passing hits me hard. He was the man who stuck his neck out for me in the Tigers draft room in 2011 and pushed them to draft me. He was one of the first people to call me after I was drafted and one of the first to greet me as I arrived at TigerTown. He’s a HOF— Dean Green (@GreenGiant2219) April 6, 2020
https://t.co/tgiYEUajY0, Al was so humble and kind to me when I got traded to Detroit in 2006. When we went to the World Series his excitement for all of us felt like he was still playing. Kindest person ever, n one of the greatest to ever lace up the spikes! Thank you Al! RIP— Sean Casey (@TheMayorsOffice) April 6, 2020
One of the greatest mentors I’ve ever had. This one hurts!!! Gonna miss you #6 pic.twitter.com/ite0mGloO6— Brandon Inge (@BrandonInge) April 6, 2020
RIP Mr. K, you were truly a Hall of Famer in every way!! There may never be another person as genuine as you to grace the baseball world.. I was so very lucky to have the conversations we had!! #RIPMr.Tiger #6— Alex Wilson (@WillyWilson18) April 6, 2020
So sorry to hear about the passing of Al Kaline. One of the best men the game of baseball has ever seen. Will always remember him walking by my locker and putting me in a headlock every day. It was an honor to get to know him during my time in Detroit— John Hicks (@JohnHicks08) April 6, 2020
Someone that was always willing to give back. A man that always made you feel good about yourself and gave you hope when you were in his presence. You will truly be missed Al Kaline aka Mr. Tiger! @MLB @tigers @MLB_PLAYERS #AlKaline— Niko Goodrum (@NikoGoodrum) April 6, 2020
Rest In Peace to the legendary Al Kaline. Your stories & advice brought a smile to everybody’s face on a daily basis. You will be truly missed, and never forgotten. #MrTiger pic.twitter.com/dVnrrX67LG— Grayson Greiner (@ggreiner21) April 6, 2020
Commissioner Rob Manfred’s statement on the passing of Al Kaline: pic.twitter.com/7WBZQ0S6Jt— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) April 6, 2020
Saddened to hear the passing of “Mr. Tiger” Al Kaline. He was one the classiest men I’ve ever met. Always willing to share his baseball knowledge. Prayers for Al’s family & @tigers the only organization he ever knew. Baseball lost a great one today! RiP pic.twitter.com/eB0BtHZS6U— Rod Allen (@RodAllen12) April 6, 2020
#6— Mario Impemba (@mario_impemba) April 6, 2020
Al Kaline - the greatest Tigers player ever as far as I'm concerned. Even more importantly, perhaps the most dignified person I have ever met in sports. His passing leaves profound sadness, but there is only happiness and joy when considering memories of his life - for all of us.— Pat Caputo (@patcaputo98) April 6, 2020
I used to love to talk to Al about Miggy when Miggy was in his prime because every time he'd say, "I love watching him."— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) April 6, 2020
He said Miggy's feel for hitting reminded him of Ted Williams. Said he once asked Ted: "Do you ever guess?" And Ted said, "Al, I never guess. I anticipate."
When the #Nats were in Detroit this summer, Al Kaline heard my dad was a huge fan of his and came over to our booth to meet my dad. That’s what kind of a person he was. A prince of a man and when it’s all said and done that matters more than anything you do on the field. RIP Al pic.twitter.com/TIl6iHbD0N— F.P. Santangelo (@FightinHydrant) April 6, 2020