Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Does Alan Trammell Belong in the Hall of Fame?
Point is, Trammell was THE MAN to Young Rogo and other Tiger fans back then. In many fans’ eyes, he still is the symbol of excellence in Tiger history, the way fans of the ‘60’s Tigers look at Al Kaline, and the way chubby dumb girls of today look at Brandon Inge. I mean, what Tiger fan of that era doesn’t have fond memories of Tram and his double play partner, Lou Whitaker?
And now, once again, tis the season for the yearly Hall of Fame voting. Already, I’m seeing cries for Trammell to be inducted into Cooperstown in his 11th year of eligibility and it makes me feel like a bad fan. Why?
Because I’m one of the few (if any) Tigers fans that just doesn’t believe Alan Trammell belongs in the Hall.
Why is that? Let me count the ways.
I tackled this topic a couple years ago and felt I should re-visit it to see if my views have changed. Unfortunately, the numbers don’t lie.
-In his 20 seasons, Trammell played more than 140 games in only eight of the years. The guy was injured so much that I think it cut into him reaching the numbers fitting for a Hall of Famer. Don Mattingly has the same problem.
-In those 20 seasons, Trammell had only eight years when he had double-digit homers. Only twice did he hit more than 15. Homers aren’t everything, sure, but they help.
-The magic number of hits that guarantee you a spot in the Hall (unless you were caught with steroids) is 3000. Trammell was over 600 hits short of that mark. Of course, you don't require 3000 to get in, but being a bit closer would help his chances.
-He never once led the league in anything other than sacrifices (’81 & ’83).
-He hit under .260 in 7 of 20 years.
-His career OPS+ of 110 is hardly impressive at all. When one remembers Trammell, I think everyone likes to think of the ’87 Trammell, when he hit .343 with 28 homers and got screwed out of the MVP by George Bell. But his 162-game average numbers for his career are .285 and 13 homers. That’s good, but not Hall of Fame worthy.
-Still think I’m nuts? Check this out.
Player A played in 2293 games over 20 years in MLB. He had 2365 hits, hit .285/.352/.415, hit 412 doubles, 185 homers, 1003 RBI, and 236 stolen bases. He played in six All-Star games, had three Silver Sluggers, and won four Gold Gloves. He won one World Series and was the MVP of that series.
Player B played in 2152 games in 16 seasons. He had 2327 hits, hit .286/.343/.398, had 436 doubles, 140 homers, 923 RBI, and 294 stolen bases. He was a five time All-Star, won three Silver Sluggers, and won two Gold Gloves. He also won two World Series championships and was the MVP of one of them.
Pretty close, huh? Player A is Trammell. Player B is Edgar Renteria. And he’s still going. Think Renteria belongs in the Hall?
Alan Trammell is a legend among Tiger fans. I know he’s a postseason hero in Detroit and his face would be on the Mount Rushmore of Tiger players if you built one.
But think about this. If his name was Alan Jones and he played his career in Seattle with his slightly above average numbers, would you think he was a Hall of Famer then? Look at Renteria’s numbers again. It’s hard not to be a homer in the case of a local legend like Tram, but I’m just trying to be objective.
It’s not the Hall of Very Good. It’s a place for the best of the best. And Alan Trammell, while a good player and a great human being, is just not one of baseball’s immortals. Too many injuries prevented that, in my opinion.
/ducks for cover