22 seasons: Having jumped straight from his Baltimore high school to the majors in 1953, Kaline never spent a day in the minors and became one of the few players in major league history to wear just one team’s uniform over such a lengthy professional career. “He was a legend on and off the field,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said Monday on Twitter. “Through his 22 seasons with the team, he brought joy to generations of Tigers fans across our state.”
20 years old: Kaline, who debuted with the Tigers at 18, became the youngest player to win the American League batting title — besting Tigers legend Ty Cobb by one day while batting .340 as a 20-year-old in 1955, his first all-star season.
18 all-star appearances: He made the All-Star Game in 13 straight years and was able to amass 18 appearances thanks in small part to the fact that there were multiple all-star games in certain seasons back then.
3,007 hits: Productive until his final season in 1974, Kaline barely reached the 3,000-hit club, which 46 years later has just 32 members.
399 home runs: He fell one homer shy of a nice, round number and sits in a tie (with Andres Galarraga) for 58th on the career list. Unlike the names surrounding him on that list, Kaline never hit more than 29 home runs in a season.
10 Gold Gloves: His defensive skills in right field garnered as much admiration as his batting prowess. He won all 10 Gold Gloves in an 11-year span midway through his career.
9 top-10 MVP finishes: He never won the award, though, coming in second twice and third once. His closest call was in 1955, when Yogi Berra edged him despite Kaline accumulating 8.3 wins above replacement that year compared to Berra’s 4.5, according to Baseball Reference.
.379 batting average in the 1968 World Series: He initially said he didn’t deserve to play after having been limited by injury for much of the season. He went on to bat .379 with two home runs and eight RBI, leading the Tigers back from a 3-1 deficit against the St. Louis Cardinals to win the championship in seven games.
2,834 games: He is the all-time leader in Tigers history in that stat, as well as home runs, walks (1,277) and win probability added (59.5). His career mark of 92.8 wins above replacement places him 29th all-time among position players.
1 of 6 Tigers with statues: Kaline’s steel statue behind the left-center field wall at Comerica Park immortalizes him making a leaping, one-handed grab. The other Tigers commemorated with a statue there are Cobb, Willie Horton, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg and Hal Newhouser.
26 years in the broadcast booth: Kaline was known for a quiet, unassuming nature, but he also grew into a role as the Tigers’ television analyst that he held from 1976 to 2001. He then worked in the team’s front office as a special assistant, ultimately allowing him to forge connections with several generations of the club’s players, staffers and fans.