Three days until Opening Day! Do you feel like running down the street and just screaming it? I do! Ok, maybe that makes me a little… different. But three days! To help get ready for the 2016 season, we’ll reflect on some of the best players to wear numbers ten through one for the Detroit Tigers through their long, storied history.
Today, our countdown continues with a reflection on the career of #3, shortstop Alan Trammell.
Born on February 21, 1958, “Tram” played his entire 20 year career in the Motor City. His career was highlighted by a World Series Championship in 1984. Although his arm strength was not stellar, his quick release and great accuracy led to four Golden Glove awards. He and Lou Whitaker combined to make for the longest double-play combination in Major League history, playing 19 years together.
Although he fell short of Hall of Fame election in each of his 15 years on the ballot, Trammell will be remembered as one of the best players in the history of Tigers baseball.
Trammell’s best offensive season came in 1987, when he finished with a .343 average, while clubbing 28 home runs and 105 RBI’s. He also stole 25 bases that season. At the time, he joined Kirk Gibson as the only two players in team history to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in the same season. Curtis Granderson joined that list in 2007.
The 1984 season, in which the team won the World Series, was a particularly good season for Trammell as well. Although he missed 23 games with shoulder tendinitis, he still finished fifth in the American League batting race with a .314 average. The team raced off to a 35-5 start, and would eventually defeat the San Diego Padres in the World Series. Trammell was named as the MVP of the series, finishing 9 for 20 with a pair of home runs.
After the 1990 season, injuries began to pile up for Trammell. He was only able to play in 100+ games in two of his final six seasons before hanging his cleats up after the ’96 season.
Trammell was named the manager of the Tigers on October 9, 2002. He only lasted three years at the position, however, compiling a record of 186-300.
When all was said and done, Trammell had a laundry list of accomplishments. He was named to six All-Star teams, won four Gold Glove awards, was named Comeback Player of the Year in 1983, won three Silver Slugger awards, and was named to the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
He finished with a career batting average of .285, with 185 home runs and 1,003 RBI’s. He also stole a total of 236 bases.
In celebrating the three-day mark until Opening Day, we give you #3, Alan Trammell!