Al Kaline dies at 85: Baseball greats remember the Detroit Tigers legend on social media

Baseball legend Al Kaline, considered "Mr. Tiger" for his profound impact on Detroit baseball, died Monday at the age of 85.

Kaline's Hall of Fame career began in 1953 and spanned 22 big league seasons all spent with the Tigers. His resume pops: 15 All-Star game appearances, 10 Gold Gloves and four top-five MVP finishes. The statistics are eye-catching, too: 3,007 hits, 399 home runs and a .297 career average.

But the legacy of Al Kaline is summarized far better by his Mr. Tiger monicker. It encompasses all of his well-earned honors on the field, but more so, what he meant to the city of Detroit. He made his debut for the Tigers as an 18-year-old kid near the end of the 1953 season without a minor league game under his belt, meaning he never stepped foot on a professional diamond as a member of any other team.

Kaline finished third on the 1954 Rookie of the Year ballot. The next year, at the age of 20, he was the MVP runner-up, and he finished third the year after that. He stood out beyond the traditional measures, too. He walked 257 more times than he struck out and was a rare player known as much for his glove as his bat. Right field at Comerica Park is immortalized as "Kaline's corner."

He never won MVP, didn't end his career with a .300 average or hit 400 home runs. He never even hit 30 home runs in a season. But while he wasn't in the spotlight like Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays, he nonetheless became baseball royalty as a humble kid from Baltimore who focused on effort, discipline and defense. He was Mr. Tiger.

Baseball community react to the passing of Al Kaline