HOF 2018: Trammell Finally Earns His Due in Cooperstown

Eighteen years after his name first appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot considered by veteran members of the Baseball Writers Association of America – and after 15 years of falling short of the votes necessary for enshrinement – Alan Trammell is finally receiving his due.

He, along with long-time Tigers teammate Jack Morris, along with Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero and Jim Thome will be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Sunday.

And the fact Trammell and Morris had to wait a little longer, and be voted into the Hall by the Modern Era Committee, designed to correct oversights by the BBWAA members in their voting, doesn’t bother Trammell at all. The 16-person committee is a combination of former players, executives, media members, and statistical analysts.

“Regardless of how you get in, you’re not going to complain,” said Trammell. “I can assure you of that. But the fact that it was my peers, my contemporaries that basically, in my book, and is just kind of what I’m evaluating the way this vote came down, is they look at some of the intangibles.”

Trammell had the stats, but he had the intangibles, too.

In an era where shortstops were not considered big-time run producers he often hit fourth, and usually was somewhere in the middle of the lineup. He wasn’t flashy, but he was productive, and in the field he was an elite player.

The 22nd shortstop to be inducted into the Hall of Fame his ranks ninth among players at his position with 1,003 RBI, 12th with a .285 batting average and fourth with 185 home runs. His .976 career fielding percentage at shortstop is third among the 22 shortstops enshrined at Cooperstown.

In the clubhouse, he was a strong force, keeping those Tiger teams of the `80s focused on the challenges they faced, highlighted by the 1984 season when they won the AL East by 15 games over the Blue Jays, swept the Royals in the ALCS, and needed only five games to claim a world championship.

Even Kirk Gibson can attest to Trammell’s willingness to keep everybody on the same page.

“I remember him telling me one time that I was wrong and I needed to apologize to somebody,” Gibson said. “It was kind of interesting because I was pretty volatile, and when people challenged me I usually tried to take it and resolve it in a different fashion. But I really respected Tram.”

Gibson apologized.

It spoke for the bond between the two.

“My wife called him my road wife because I always spent time with Tram, talking about baseball, and our development,” said Gibson. “We were constantly together. We were the first guys at the park and we were the ones hanging around when everyone else left.”

Now Trammell is ready to receive the ultimate reward for a baseball career – a plaque on the wall at the Hall of Fame.

“I’m sure 99.9 percent of the inductees will say that it wasn’t your goal as a kid to be in the Hall of Fame,” he said. “What you wanted was to get to play professional baseball, get to the big leagues. Then you want to win. That’s why you play the game, to win, not get awards.

“I was able to do those things.”

And his ability to accomplish that goal has earned him the highest recognition a baseball player can receive.

Shortstops in Cooperstown

Player Season R H 2B 3B HR RBI AVG SLG
Cal Ripken Jr. 1981-2001(21) 1647 3184 603 44 431 1695 0.276 0.447
Robin Yount 1974-1993(20) 1632 3142 583 126 251 1406 0.285 0.43
Barry Larkin 1986-2004(19) 1329 2340 441 76 198 960 0.295 0.444
Alan Trammell 1977-1996(20) 1231 2365 412 55 185 1003 0.285 0.415
Joe Cronin 1926-1945(20) 1233 2285 515 118 170 1424 0.301 0.468
Travis Jackson 1922-1936(15) 833 1768 291 86 135 929 0.291 0.433
Pee Wee Reese 1940-1958(16) 1338 2170 330 80 126 885 0.269 0.377
Honus Wagner 1897-1917(21) 1740 3430 640 252 101 1731 0.329 0.468
Arky Vaughan 1932-1948(14) 1173 2103 356 128 96 926 0.318 0.453
Luis Aparicio 1956-1973(18) 1335 2677 394 92 83 791 0.262 0.343
George Davis 1890-1909(20) 1546 2683 451 163 73 1437 0.297 0.408
Lou Boudreau 1938-1952(15) 861 1779 385 66 68 789 0.295 0.415
Joe Sewell 1920-1933(14) 1141 2226 436 68 49 1055 0.312 0.413
Luke Appling 1930-1950(20) 1319 2749 440 102 45 1116 0.31 0.398
Phil Rizzuto 1941-1956(13) 878 1588 239 62 38 563 0.273 0.355
Bobby Wallace 1894-1918(25) 1056 2308 391 143 34 1121 0.267 0.358
Dave Bancroft 1915-1930(16) 1048 2004 320 77 32 591 0.279 0.358
Joe Tinker 1902-1916(15) 773 1695 263 114 31 782 0.263 0.354
Rabbit Maranville 1912-1935(23) 1255 2605 380 177 28 884 0.258 0.34
Ozzie Smith 1978-1996(19) 1257 2460 402 69 28 793 0.262 0.328
John Ward 1878-1894(17) 1403 2151 231 96 26 867 0.283 0.347
Hughie Jennings 1891-1918(17) 989 1520 232 88 18 840 0.314 0.409
Tracy RingolsbyComment