Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. That number puts him right in the same range as two shortstops who easily made the Hall of Fame (Ozzie Smith and Barry Larkin) and one who surely will get in on his first ballot (Derek Jeter). “I’ve got my fingers crossed,” Trammell said. It’s fitting, because the way Whitaker played the game is the way Trammell teaches the game, from school-age kids this weekend to Tigers infield prospects come Spring Training. Fellow Modern Era Committee finalists Dave Parker, Dave Murphy, Steve Garvey, Don Mattingly and Tommy John were also on there. • As mentioned, Trammell and Larkin produced a similar career value, going by WAR, but the similarities go much deeper. For anybody who has gotten that phone call, it really is a 'wow' moment. That’s kind of going against the grain a little bit now.”. His flight to the Winter Meetings had just landed when he received the call that he had been voted in. Over that time, he produced 70.4 wins above replacement (WAR), according to Baseball-Reference.com, which ranks sixth among all players who spent at least 80 percent of their games at short. I’m hoping it’s this year, but if not, just the fact that he’s getting talked about is huge, no doubt.”. That ballot included eight current Hall of Famers, including Morris. Born on Feb. 21, 1958, in Garden Grove, Calif., Trammell was drafted by the Tigers in the second round of the 1976 amateur draft. That in 1987 Alan Trammell became the first shortstop in history to post a season with at least a .340 batting average, 28 home runs and 100 RBI? Though Whitaker had a quieter personality, Trammell said, they had the same competitiveness and desire to be the best at their position. He participated in the playoffs only twice, but in 1984 he hit .419/.500/.806 with three homers and nine RBIs in Detroit's eight-game championship run. Three times he finished in the Top 10 in AL MVP voting. Now that he has seen the new setup at work, and seen the influence their peers on the committee carry, he’s more optimistic for Whitaker. • Trammell had a handful of unproductive seasons at the very beginning and end of his career, but he also enjoyed a sustained peak. “I’ve got my fingers crossed,” Trammell said. Since then, Trammell has been Whitaker’s biggest campaigner. Though Whitaker’s snub has been a sore subject for years among Tigers fans, it didn’t receive much national attention until the past couple of years, after the Hall of Fame revamped the veterans committee process to separate candidates into eras. He’s hoping it’s a good-luck charm. That ballot included eight current Hall … The Tigers' 1976 draft included 29 players, seven of whom the team signed that were future big leaguers. “I really didn’t expect it,” Trammell said. ". With Baseball Writers' Association of America voters able to pick a maximum of 10 players apiece, and 75 percent of the vote required for enshrinement, several worthy candidates must travel a difficult road. • Over a 20-year career with the Tigers that he began as a teenager in 1977, Trammell played 2,139 of his 2,202 games as a shortstop. Trammell finished second in MVP voting that year to Toronto’s George Bell. Seven times he collected double-digit homers and steals in the same season, and there had been only four 20-20 campaigns by a shortstop before Trammell did it twice in a row from 1986-87. “Lou and Tram. Just like two years ago, Trammell will be on a plane when the results are announced Sunday at 8 p.m. • JAWS, a system developed by Jay Jaffe, measures a player's Hall credentials by comparing his career and peak production with others at his position. “I wasn’t prepared. The Tigers went 104-58 to win the AL pennant and the World Series. One player whose candidacy has stalled is Alan Trammell. It’s hard to put it into a sentence when you get that call.”. “I’m hoping.” Trammell reached the 6.0-WAR mark six times, tied for the second most in history among shortstops. We were sitting in rooms most of the day. I didn’t bring the clothes. …, “I just hope that phone call comes [for Whitaker]. Trammell retired following the 1996 season with six All-Star Game selections, three Silver Slugger Awards and four Gold Glove Awards. Trammell was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2018. • JAWS, a system developed by Jay Jaffe, measures a player's Hall credentials by comparing his career and peak production with others at his position. “I’m hoping.”. Here is a look at how the two players, who both spent their entire careers with one team, stack up in several key categories. Larkin enjoys a sizable advantage in stolen bases, but otherwise, the two appear to offer nearly identical statistical profiles. And so, we’ll see. That season, Trammell became the first player in big league history to hit at least .340 with 28 home runs and 100 RBI in a season while playing at least half his games at shortstop. His flight from Detroit to San Diego for the Winter Meetings doesn’t take off until the evening. Three times he finished in the Top 10 in AL MVP voting. Alan Trammell visited Cooperstown for the first time as a Hall of Famer in March of 2018. • Trammell possessed a rare blend of power and speed at his position, with only four primary shortstops exceeding his career totals of homers and steals. Trammell was named World Series MVP against the Padres, recording multiple hits in each of the series' first four games and collecting two homers and four RBIs in a 4-2 Game 4 victory. ET on MLB Network. At the same time, they had a willingness to sacrifice for the betterment of the team and for manager Sparky Anderson. I was going to Orlando. His success in many ways was their success. They were so intertwined over their 19 years as a double-play duo that it was difficult to consider one without the other. It’s just indescribable, really, that feeling. “Tram and I met in 1976 in instructional baseball in Florida,” Whitaker told MLB Network Radio. He became the first Tiger to have 200 hits and 100 RBI in a season since 1955 and finished in the league top 10 in batting average (.343), RBI (105), hits (205), runs (109), total bases (329), on-base percentage (.402) and slugging percentage (.551). It’s fitting, because the way Whitaker played the game is the. Going 9-for-20 with two homers and six RBI, Trammell was named World Series MVP. But when considering Trammell's case, it's important to put him in the context of both his position and his era. DETROIT -- Alan Trammell will spend the weekend with kids at a baseball camp he runs with Lance Parrish, but his mind will be on another longtime teammate, Lou Whitaker. He made his big league debut at the age of 19 on Sept. 9, 1977, and by 1978 Trammell was the Tigers starting shortstop – finishing fourth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. Though seven players have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame over the past two years, many strong candidates remain on the ballot. Trammell was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2018. Privacy Statement/Your California Privacy Rights. While Trammell has been largely overlooked, there is a strong numbers-based case for him to join those enshrined in Cooperstown. But after receiving 15.7 percent of the vote in his first year of eligiblity in 2002, Trammell never gained much traction, reaching a high of 36.8 percent in '12 before dropping back to 25.1 percent the last time around. He actually had higher on-base and slugging percentages batting second, but he was Anderson’s preferred option up top. Relive your cherished baseball memories and favorite moments from your team with your personalized membership card. Represent the all-time greats and know your purchase plays a part in preserving baseball history. • If you want to award bonus points for postseason play, Trammell has that covered. You might have to take a walk, or make the pitcher work a little bit. Trammell hopeful Sweet Lou joins him in Hall. You can use little adjectives and words, but there’s really nothing that you can say other than, 'Wow.' “And I say that as a compliment to him, as Sparky believed that your job is that maybe you’ve got to take a pitch, because you’ve got to get on base. “We played our Double-A season together, my first year as a second baseman. Trammell was running his camp that weekend as well while the Modern Era Committee considered the ballot. When the Tigers honored Trammell and retired his number 3 in 2018, Trammell talked at length about wanting Whitaker to join him -- not just for the ceremony, which he did, but in the Hall. Trammell admits he didn’t put much hope into his own induction before then because the old format was so difficult. The '16 voting is his last chance with the BBWAA, though he eventually could find his way in via the Veterans Committee. Sparky had me do some things that were going to win ballgames, whether it was bunt a man over, do the things that it takes to win. • Part of the problem for Trammell could be that he played at about the same time as some other great shortstops, and since he retired, several more came along who redefined the position offensively. Only four Hall of Fame shortstops who began their careers after 1932 are ahead of him. It’s really hard to describe. While Whitaker started in every spot but cleanup in his career, 4,268 of his 9,967 plate appearances came from the top spot in the batting order. BL-2914.83 (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library), National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, 25 Main Street,Cooperstown, NY 13326Phone: 1-888-HALL-OF-FAME | 607-547-7200 | Fax: 607-547-0398, "He’s class; he’s the kind of guy you never had to tell to run a ball out. Tram and I put in a lot of time together. For 20 seasons, Alan Trammell was the face of the Detroit Tigers. I’m hoping,” he said. “The name of the game is to win, right?” Whitaker said on MLB Network Radio. Meanwhile, Trammell ranked third in batting average, on-base percentage and OPS and fourth in slugging (all minimum 1,000 games), plus fourth in hits and walks. Results of this year's BBWAA vote will be revealed on MLB Network on Jan. 6, with a news conference involving any electees to be held the following day. Trammell reached the 6.0-WAR mark six times, tied for the second most in history among shortstops. Tigers manager Sparky Anderson asked Trammell to move from the two hole to cleanup in 1987, and Trammell responded with his best season. “Where has this love been all these years?” Trammell asked, half-jokingly. DETROIT -- Alan Trammell will spend the weekend with kids at a baseball camp he runs with Lance Parrish, but his mind will be on another longtime teammate, Lou Whitaker. When Trammell retired in 1996, only Cal Ripken Jr. had more career home runs and RBIs as a shortstop. Tram and I worked hard those years. • Defensive metrics, especially during Trammell's time, must be taken with a grain of salt, but his 81 Total Zone runs as a shortstop rank 11th all-time. It’s just a matter of when, and I’m hoping it’s this year.”. Unlike Trammell, who was on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot for the Hall of Fame for 15 years and never came particularly close, Whitaker was one and done, selected on just 2.9 percent of ballots cast for the 2001 election. Alan Trammell of the Tigers used this bat to hit two two-run home runs in Game 4 of the 1984 Fall Classic en route to winning World Series MVP honors. His 22.0 defensive WAR ranks 34th among players at all positions. Trammell's 57.5 JAWS score exceeds the 54.7 average of the 21 current Hall of Fame shortstops. I didn’t have a sportcoat. In many ways, Trammell appears more excited and nervous about Whitaker’s chance for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame than he was for his own consideration two years ago. By the time their careers were over, Trammell and Whitaker played in 1,918 games together – the most by any double-play combination in history. - B-453-84 (Milo Stewart, Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame), Phil Niekro (left) greets members of Team Knucksie, including Alan Trammell (center), before the 2015 Hall of Fame Classic Game in Cooperstown. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Whitaker was left off the Modern Era Committee ballot that year, while fellow Tigers Trammell and Jack Morris were on it. In 1984, Trammell battled shoulder tendinitis to finish fifth in the AL batting race (.314) and eighth in on-base percentage (.382).
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