Detroit Tigers: It’s time to retire Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker’s numbers

With the news of Derek Jeter‘s number being retired by the New York Yankees, the Detroit Tigers have now been called out. Detroit greats Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker need to have their numbers retired. Immediately, if not sooner. Let's examine the numbers.

Alan Trammell

  • WAR 70.4
  • HR 185
  • 1003 RBI
  • BA .285
  • 6x All-Star
  • 4x Gold Glove
  • 3x Silver Slugger
  • World Series MVP

Lou Whitaker

  • WAR 74.9
  • HR 244
  • RBI 1084
  • BA .276
  • 5x All-Star
  • 3x Gold Glove
  • 4x Silver Slugger
  • Rookie of the Year

Those numbers speak for themselves. In fact, the stat lines for both of these players actually beg Hall of Fame consideration. But, we're just talking about retiring jersey numbers. This concept, for me, is about honoring players and numbers that mean something special for a particular franchise. In my mind, this distinction is uniquely suited for the Tram and Lou.

Sports Illustrated noted recently that Tram and Sweet Lou played 1,918 games together. All of those games, by the way, were in a Detroit Tigers uniform. That's really something, especially in the game of baseball. In baseball, more than any major modern sport, player loyalty is very rare. I understand players working to get the biggest contract possible. It's important to take care of yourself and your family. Given that, it's not uncommon for players to change teams frequently over the course of a career.

Whitaker played nineteen seasons for the Tigers and Trammell did one better spending twenty seasons in the Old English D. In fact, only two other players spent more at least twenty seasons in a Detroit uniform. Ty Cobb and Al Kaline. That's fast company for Tram and Lou.

Whitaker and Trammell also played very important roles in the 1984 World Championship season for Detroit. Let's not forget that Trammell was the MVP of that World Series. The two home runs that he smashed in Game 4 went along way to securing that award.

Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker are two of the most famous and recognizable Detroit Tigers ever. They spent their entire careers in Detroit and represented the franchise in All-Star Games and the World Series.

The reality is, we don't need to even consider statistics when considering retiring their numbers. I'm proud to list them as two of my favorite players of all time. It's time for the Tigers to immortalize their numbers, their careers, and what they mean to the franchise and the city of Detroit.