Detroit Tigers: 3 instances Detroit players almost won Cy Young or MVP
2. Alan Trammell 1987 MVP
Winner: George Bell
For a long time, until Alan Trammell got the nod to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame, the 1987 MVP race was held against Trammell because he didn’t have it on his resume. There have been several articles about Trammell’s 1987 season but the biggest takeaway I took was how many hits he had compared to Bell.
Granted, Bell had more home runs but he was not a good left-fielder, but it was the last month of the season in which I had a huge grip with the writers on what they were looking at in terms of the MVP race.
In September and into the first week of October, Trammell hit .417/.490/.677 with an OPS of 1.167, and outside of June in which he hit 9 home runs, that final month would be his second-best output of power, with7. Now WAR was not a stat that was used then but overall, Trammell put up an 8.2 bWAR season compared to Bell’s 5.0.
George Bell won with 16 first-place votes compared to Trammell’s 12. Now, if this happened in this era with all the data available at your fingertips, I don’t think Bell would have won but 47 home runs while impressive, did not hold a candle to the value Trammell brought the Tigers in 1987 as a complete player. I am glad now history remembers how much Alan Trammell made an impact in 1987 without the MVP award but would have been nice to have on the trophy case.