Alan Trammell Deserves Hall-of-Fame Call

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Last year we banged the drum for Jack Morris entering the Hall-of-Fame and he failed on his final time. This year Alan Trammell has his final shot. He won’t get in and that is still an unbelievable travesty.

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Morris received just 61.5 percent with 75 percent needed last season in his final year of eligibility. Tram surprisingly got a little more notice nationally last year but ended up actually declining to 33.6 percent. Lou Whitaker has remained ineligible for 15 years despite his numbers stacking up favorably to Hall-of-Fame second basement.

All three will eventually be eligible for induction via the Veteran’s Committee, but its a shame that each will have to wait much longer (committee doesn’t meet again until next year), if they get selected at all.

We discussed Tram’s case last year and will repost much of the argument below because it remains just as relevant now.

Let’s take a look at the career statistics for two players.

19 seasons: 1,257 runs, 2,460 hits, 402 doubles, 69 triples, 28 homers, 793 RBIs, .978 fielding percentage

20 seasons: 1,231 runs, 2,365 hits, 412 doubles, 55 triples, 185 homers, 1,003 RBIs, .977 fielding percentage

The first line is for Ozzie Smith, who was inducted on the first ballot in 2002. The second is for Alan Trammell, who never receives more than 50 percent of the vote and will be in his final year of eligibility in 2015.

Those lines are almost identical if you consider there is some better numbers for Smith and some better numbers for Tram. Of course, Tram never did back flips in the World Series.

If you put Tram’s numbers in the prism of the WAR-based JAWS statistic, you’ll see he ranks 11th all time for shortstops. This means he is the highest ranking shortstop in the modern era not already in the Hall-of-Fame, and is ahead of several Hall-of-Famers including Barry Larkin, Lou Boudreau, Pee Wee Reese, and others.

National publication Deadspin also pled Tram’s case recently. Here’s an excerpt:

"Trammell had essentially the same top-3 and top-7 GPA as Banks, Ripken, Yount, and Larkin. Based on an open-source fielding evaluation system we’ll be discussing shortly, he also saved more runs in the field than any of those three. Trammell was actually very close in overall value to Larkin.Larkin is probably in the Hall because his lifetime batting average of .295 was close enough to .300 for him to be perceived as basically a .300 hitter, and perhaps also because he once hit over 30 home runs back when that was still considered miraculous for a shortstop.Trammell is probably out (so far) because his .285 lifetime batting average, though very high for a career shortstop, wasn’t close enough to .300 for him to be perceived as a so-called .300 hitter, and because he never hit 30 homers, though he did hit 28 once.(If this seems reductive, take it up with the baseball writers.)It’s very important to keep in mind that the above GPAs are normalized to the level of offense in the American League during the past 20 years. Trammell’s official statistics look more modest than Larkin’s because all of his full-time seasons preceded the offensive boom that began in 1993, while most of Larkin’s full-time seasons occurred after 1992."

Tigers’ fans should be pissed about this. Detroit sports fans frequently cry that their teams are ignored nationally.  The fact that Morris, Trammell and Whitaker will not be elected to the Hall anytime soon is proof of that. Had any of these players played for the Yankees or other East Coast teams, their mugs would already be hanging on the walls of Cooperstown.

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