Wednesday is the day. Detroit Tigers Alan Trammell has one chance left. The Hall of Fame results will be released and the fate of one of the greatest men to ever don the Old English D lies in the hands of a bunch of baseball writers who already have overlooked him for over a decade. Is this his year?
There is a real chance that this could be Trammell’s year. The ballot is not loaded with many men who are much better than Trammell. Many of the men on the ballot are from the steroid era or just aren’t quite the caliber of player and man as Trammell.
The 2016 Hall of Fame ballot has only one sure candidate: Ken Griffey, Jr. “The Kid” played for 22 years – which is epic in any professional athletic association. The first half of his career was dominated by MVP votes, All-Star game appearances, Gold Glove awards and Silver Slugger awards. He batted .284/.538/.907, which are outstanding numbers for 22 years at the plate. He was the home run leader during four of his years and in 1997, he was one statistic away from a Triple Crown. His career WAR is 83.6.
Alan Trammell may not have all of the accolades that Ken Griffey, Jr. earned, but he was part of a duo that should be together in Cooperstown. Trammell’s batting statistics over 20 years were a solid .285/.415/.767. He did not have the award recognition that Griffey, Jr. had, but Trammell did earn Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. His career WAR was a respectable 70.4. Trammell’s career dWAR was 22.0 to Griffey, Jr.’s 1.3 dWAR. Both men have their strengths and hopefully, the men who get a vote will see the value of both of them.
The other relatively “sure things” for the 2016 class include pitcher Curt Schilling and Jeff Bagwell. The steroid era players on the ballot could get voted in, simply because there so few other options. This might be the year that Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Mike Piazza are inducted. That leaves Alan Trammell as one exceptionally good player from outside of the steroid era.
If Trammell does not make it, he will not return to the ballot. His biggest problem is that he is not the best shortstop during the time he played. During Trammell’s time with the Tigers, another shortstop was dominating the position with the Baltimore Orioles. Cal Ripken, Jr. ofter appears on the “best shortstops ever” lists and Trammell does not. Ripken is already in the Hall of Fame, so the Baseball Writers might not feel like they need to add another shortstop from the 80’s and 90’s. Ripken played in every All-Star game after his rookie year and he earned two MVP awards as well as repeated Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards.
But, Ripken has been in the Hall of Fame for almost ten years. While he is not a forgotten retired baseball player, enough time could have passed for the BBWAA to see that it is time for Trammell. Not one player from the 1984 World Series team has been inducted into Cooperstown. Trammell is the last one left and one of the most worthy. He has the stats to be there and he has the intangibles like dedication to one team, love of the game, and quality sportsmanship that would represent the Tigers and the HOF perfectly.
It is time to show Alan Trammell the respect he deserves and place his image forever in the Baseball Hall of Fame.