Shortstop Alan Trammel and Pitcher Jack Morris have been elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Trammel batted .285 with 185 home runs in his career. His name is forever tied to his double play partner, Lou Whitaker, who was Trammel’s second base partner for 19 years, the longest such combination in baseball history. The two, naturally, turned more double plays than any two teammates in history as well.
Trammel himself won four Gold Gloves, including four straight from 1980 to 1984. ’84 would be the height of Trammel’s career. The Gold Glove would actually be the icing on the cake, as the Tigers beat San Diego in the World Series. Trammel was named the MVP of the series, batting .450 and posting a .500 on-base percentage. His two homers both came in game four, a 4 – 2 Tigers victory.
He played his entire 19 year career in Detroit.
Jack Morris was also part of that 1984 Tigers championship team. He finished with a career ERA of 3.91 and 1.296 WHIP. He was credited with 254 wins against 186 losses. He registered 2,478 strikeouts, good for 34th all-time. He was a text book example of a pitching work horse, topping 200 innings 11 times.
He put four World Series rings on his fingers over the course of his career with three different teams.
Morris played the first 14 years of his career in Detroit, then went to Minnesota in 1991. He only played for the Twins for one season, but in that season he pitched what was arguably the greatest World Series pitching performance in history. With the series tied 3 – 3, Morris and John Smoltz delivered a pitcher’s duel for the ages. With the score 0 – 0, Morris came back out for the 10th inning, and held the Braves in check. The Twins would score a run in the bottom of the inning and win their 2nd title in 5 years (1987).
Morris moved onto the Blue Jays in the following off-season. Toronto went on to beat the Braves in 1992 and the Phillies in 1993, making Morris a world champion in three consecutive seasons.
Personally, I’m not sure if either of these guys had Hall of Fame careers. Morris never had a sub-3 era and barely managed a sub-4 for his entire career. He was great in the postseason, and that’s probably what put him over the top.
Trammel deserves it a little more, and mostly for his defense. A case could be made that in his era, shortstop was primarily a defensive position, and he was one of the best for almost two decades. I can see the case there.
These two were the choices by baseball’s Modern Era Commitee. There are more possible inductees when the Baseball Writers of America vote in January. Candidates include Chipper Jones, Vlad Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, and more.
The ceremony will take place in Cooperstown on July 29, 2018.