When the Tigers host the Dodgers this Saturday night, they will honor Alan Trammell. It is not with a Baseball Hall of Fame ring, or by retiring his number. Nope. He gets a bobblehead.
As for the other two honors, I am sure that as soon as the first one happens, the Tigers will announce the second.
The real question here is why wasn’t Tram inducted into the Hall years ago?
Let’s do a little blind comparison of Trammell against the last three shortstops inducted into the Hall.
SHORTSTOP 1 – 19 seasons
198 Home Runs
379 Stolen Bases
.975 Fielding Percentage
3 Gold Gloves
9 Silver Sluggers
.862 OPS in Post-Season
Top 10 MVP finish twice, including one MVP win.
Played in one World Series, won one World Series title, with .950 OPS in 4 games.
SHORTSTOP 2 – 21 seasons
431 Home Runs
36 Stolen Bases
.979 Fielding Percentage
2 Gold Gloves
8 Silver Sluggers
Rookie of the Year
Top 10 MVP finish three times, including two MVP wins.
.866 OPS in Post-Season
Played in one World Series, won one World Series title, with .452 OPS in 5 games.
SHORTSTOP 3 – 19 seasons
28 Home Runs
580 Stolen Bases
.978 Fielding Percentage
13 Gold Gloves
1 Silver Slugger
Top 10 MVP finish once
.617 OPS in the Post-Season
Played in three World Series, winning one title, with .435 OPS in 21 games.
SHORTSTOP 4 – 20 seasons
185 Home Runs
236 Stolen Bases
.977 Fielding Percentage
4 Gold Gloves
3 Silver Sluggers
Top 10 MVP finish three times
.992 OPS in Post-Season
Played in one World Series, winning one World Series title, with 1.300 OPS in 5 games
World Series MVP.
What really jumps out at me is the OPS of Shortstop 1, the WAR of shortstop 2, the base speed of Shortstop 3, and the Post Season/ World Series OPS of Shortstop 4. Each of these guys has one statistic that lifts them above almost all the others, but everything else is pretty comparable.
However, two of these shortstops were voted into the Hall of Fame on their first ballot, one got in after three tries, and one went 15 years with only once exceeding 40% of the vote.
We Detroiters are certainly provincial when it comes to our baseball heroes, especially our beloved 1984 Tigers, but take the names and uniforms away from the statistics and you can barely distinguish one of these players from the others.
It is difficult to look at these numbers and figure out why the first three are revered as much better players than the former Tiger. We Michiganders often talk about the perception of Detroit, and how the rest of the country looks down on us. As much as I am reticent to buy into ulterior motives with these things, maybe there is something to that theory on a subconscious level with the voters, and it affected Tram (and Lou Whittaker and Jack Morris while we are talking about it).
The Hall of Fame Veterans Committee is now in charge of Alan Trammell’s fate since his 15 years of eligibility have expired. Hopefully, they just look at the numbers, and are not blinded by some bias against the Old English D. If they do that, we will finally get a 1984 Tiger into the Hall, and we can start planning to retire jersey No.3.
*All stats obtained from Baseball Reference.