Detroit Tigers Catcher Pudge Rodriguez in Hall of Fame But 1984 Snubs Still Hurt


Congratulations to former Detroit Tigers Ivan Rodriguez for his enshrinement in the BBWAA Hall of Fame.

The first-ballot election makes Pudge the first Detroit Tigers player to enter the Hall since Al Kaline was voted in in 1980.

Rodriguez certainly deserved this spot and his election in the Hall is worth celebrating. But, his election also reminds fans that not one 1984 World Series champion player was enshrined in Cooperstown.

Alan Trammell‘s final appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot was in 2016. After 15 years of voting, the BBWAA just didn’t find him appealing enough. The same happened to Lou Whitaker and Jack Morris. Their final hope lies with the Veteran’s Committee, which is now called the “Eras Committee.”

Eras Committee Voting Schedules

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers
MLB: Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers /

Voting on the Eras Committee does not guarantee a spot for players like Trammell and Whitaker. CBS Sports condensed the Eras Committee voting schedule:

  • “Today’s Game Committee: twice every five years, starting in 2016;
  • Modern Baseball Committee: twice every five years, starting in 2017;
  • Golden Days Committee: once every five years, starting in 2020;
  • Early Baseball Committee: once every 10 years, starting in 2030.”

Unfortunately, Whitaker and Morris were not on the 2017 Eras Committee ballot, even though they were eligible. Trammell was not eligible to be on the newest ballot. The 2017 Eras Committee ballot included Bud Selig, George Steinbrenner, John Schuerholz, Davey Johnson, Lou Piniella, Harold Baines, Mark McGwire, Albert Belle, Orel Hershiser, and Will Clark. Selig and Schuerholz were elected and will join Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell, and Tim Raines at the ceremony on July 30.

Former Tigers One-And-Done on Ballot

The 2017 HOF Ballot included a few more Tigers from the 2006 team that Pudge helped lead to the AL Pennant. Unfortunately, these players will never show up on another ballot because they did not get 5% of the votes. Magglio Ordonez received three votes and Carlos Guillen did not receive any votes. Edgar Renteria, who played one season in Detroit, earned two votes.

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Will #7 Be Retired in Detroit?

Now that Pudge is an official member of the Hall of Fame, will the Tigers retire his number? Several of the Hall of Fame Tigers have statues in left field where their retired numbers rest, too. Kaline (#6) shares space with Charlie Gehringer (#2), Hank Greenberg (#5), and Hal Newhouser (#16). Willie Horton (#23) is also enshrined at Comerica Park, despite not being in the Hall of Fame.

Ty Cobb has a statue, but he played before numbers were used. Sparky Anderson (#11) also has his number retired, despite not having a statue. Other Tigers who are in the Hall, but do not have their numbers retired include Mickey Cochrane, Sam Crawford, Harry Heilmann, Hughie Jennings, George Kell, and Heinie Manush. Their names are boldly printed on the right field wall. Ernie Harwell is also commemorated on the right field wall.

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Since Rodriguez played mostly with the Texas Rangers, his name will probably be added to the right field wall. The odds are good that Pudge’s number will be retired at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Right now, Brad Ausmus wears #7 on his jersey, but it is safe to say he would be ok giving it up for another lucky number – if asked.