Every month, More Hardball salutes a player we feel deserves recognition, as they will likely never receive the honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame. To qualify, these athletes must have demonstrated exceptional talent and sportsmanship on and off the field. This month, we induct one of baseball's finest shortstops, Alan Trammell.
Alan Trammel was drafted by Detroit in June of 1976, and made his debut with the Tigers in September of 1977, where he remained for the next 20 seasons. In that time, Trammel picked up four Gold Glove Awards, three Silver Slugger Awards, and appeared on 6 All Star teams. In 1984, Trammel earned the World Series MVP after leading the Tigers to the championship. His career stats include a batting average of .285, including 7 seasons where he hit .300 or better. In 1986, Trammell became the second Tiger to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in one season, a feat he repeated in 1987. Appearing in 2293 games, Trammell's career stats include: 1231 r, 2365 h, 185 hr, 1003 rbi, .285/.352/.415.
Trammel was also a key defensive player. Along with teammate Lou Whitaker, the duo turned more double plays than any other shortstop-second baseman pair in the history of baseball. Trammell and Whitaker also set the record for most games as teammates after appearing in their 1915th game together on September 13, 1995 (their record stands at 1918 joint appearances). Cal Ripken Jr. once stated that the two should be inducted in the Hall of Fame as a duo. His lifetime fielding percentage is .977 at shortstop. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract ranks Trammell as the 9th best shortstop, ahead of 14 Hall of Famers. However, since appearing on Hall of Fame ballots in 2002, he has never received more than 18.2% of the vote.
-Trammell became the manager for the Tigers in 2003, but was fired in 2005 by the organization after finishing 5th, 4th, and 4th.
-He is among the Tiger's leaders in runs scored, doubles, and stolen bases.
-In 1983, Trammell was named "Comeback Player of the Year" for the American League.
-Trammell became the first Tiger since Al Kaline to have 200 hits and 100 rbi in the same season (1987).
Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker on Magnum P.I.