3:22 PM PT -- Detroit Tigers CEO Christopher Ilitch penned an emotional statement after Kaline's death Monday, writing, "Baseball lost a Titan today."
"Anyone who knew Al Kaline would describe his gentle soul and passion for baseball as an unbelievably powerful combination, making home one of the most respected players in Major League Baseball history."
Ilitch added, "The impact of his life is wide-reaching, and he will be greatly missed by millions in Detroit, the state of Michigan and across the baseball community."
Al Kaline -- an MLB Hall of Famer who was affectionately known as Mr. Tiger -- has died at the age of 85.
A family friend of the Detroit legend confirmed the news with the Detroit Free Press on Monday ... although a cause of death was not immediately known.
Kaline was an unbelievable baseball player for the Tigers from 1953-1974 ... making 18 All-Star games and earning 10 gold gloves.
The former outfielder logged 3,007 hits, had a career batting average of .297 and slugged 399 home runs. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980 ... and his No. 6 was retired by the Tigers that same year.
Kaline also has a statue at Comerica Park in Detroit.
"Such a kind and generous man who meant so much to so many," former Tigers ace Justin Verlander said Monday. "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."
The baseball legend worked in some capacity with the Tigers up until his death ... holding various roles as either an announcer, coach or front-office exec.
Originally published -- 1:01 PM PT