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POLL: Alan Trammell and the Hall of Fame

Posted by Andy on November 2, 2010

Alan Trammell played all 20 of his MLB seasons for the Tigers, amassing more than 2,100 games at shortstop.

On the Hall of Fame ballot since 2002, Trammell reached a high of 22.4% in the voting last year. He has another 6 years of eligibility assuming that his voting total doesn't fall below 5%.

Trammell was a 6-time All-Star, 4-time Gold Glove winner, 3-time Silver Slugger winner, and was MVP of the 1984 World Series.

Trammell never led the league in a single major statistical category (zero black ink) but probably deserved the 1987 AL MVP. He finished second to George Bell, who had 47 HR and 134 RBI but an oWAR of just 5.0 as compared to Trammell's league-leading total of 8.4. Trammel's .343 batting average that season was, remarkably, good for just 3rd in the AL behind Wade Boggs' .363 and Paul Molitor's .353.

Let's discuss Trammell's career and vote in the poll below.

For Alan Trammell in the Hall of Fame:

Against Alan Trammell in the Hall of Fame:

  • Trammell was not a very consistent player from an offensive standpoint. He never posted more than 3 consecutive seasons with an OPS+ of at least 100. As a shortstop playing in a low-offense era, this is not terrible, but it might mean he's not HOF material. After a great 1983 and 1984, Trammell posted an 89 OPS+ in 1985. Then he was great again in 1986, 1987, and 1988, but posted an 85 OPS+ in 1989. Back up in 1990, back down in 1991. Back up in 1992 and 1993, then down for good after that. Compare that to Lou Whitaker, who posted 15 straight seasons with an OPS+ between 103 and 141.
  • Trammell was good at a lot of things--a good hitter and a a good fielder--but not great at anything. I already mentioned his black ink of zero and his gray ink (top 10 finishes in major statistical categories) is just 48, quite low.
  • He spent most of his career as the 3rd-best shortstop in the AL. At various times, he was ranked behind (by seasonal WAR) Cal Ripken, Robin Yount, and Tony Fernandez.  Trammell was the top AL shortstop by WAR only in 1987 and 1988. Hey--being the 3rd-best shortstop for a long period of time isn't bad, but again, it might not be HOF worthy.
  • Trammell's counting stats, which are not overly impressive in the first place, benefit from him coming to the majors at a very young age. Had he played his first full season at 22 or 23 like many players, he would have had a fairly short career given that he last played 120 games at Age 32.
  • This should have absolutely nothing to do with his HOF candidacy, but his bad turn as Tigers manager isn't going to help. In 2004 and 2005 thankfully they were just an ordinary bad team, but those 2003 Tigers and their 119 losses are a stain on Trammell's resume that probably hurt his reputation with at least a few voters.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 at 1:40 pm and is filed under Hall of Fame, Polls. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

106 Responses to “POLL: Alan Trammell and the Hall of Fame”

  1. [...] POLL: Alan Trammell and the Hall of Fame (Baseball-Reference). Does the Kearny Mesa HS alum belong in Cooperstown? Hint: Yes. [...]

  2. Not sure if anyone pointed this out, but Ozzie Smith was elected on his first ballot based on defense alone. His career fielding percentage is .978. Trammell's is .976, and .977 at shortstop (he played some 2B, 3B, and OF late in his career). So does that cement it? Tram belongs in the Hall.

  3. @ JL Morris 102

    Ozzie Smith didn't just get into the Hall of Fame for defense alone. He was a great base stealer and he had some pretty decent offensive seasons. His career offensive WAR is 43.0. Pretty darn good. Plus he was a great team leader, a superb role model, and an exemplary character.

  4. @ Sean

    And Trammell's WAR is higher then Ozzie Smith's (oWAR is 59.4 for Trammell). If Smith was a first ballot then Trammel should definitely be in. I am not saying he should have been a first ballot (I don't think Smith was either) but he should be at more then 22.4% after 8 years on the ballot.

  5. That should have read "I don't think Smith should have been either".

  6. I think the point is that when you compare offenses and defenses between Smith and Trammell, they are not so far apart that you get a guy who gets in on his first ballot with over 90% of writers going for one, and the other can't get 30%. It offends me that Alan Trammell isn't worthy of the Hall of Fame to these clowns, but Smith gets more consideration than Joe DiMaggio, Frank Robinson, and Mickey Mantle. Trammell IS HoF-worthy, he's better than a LOT of current HoF members, but he won't get in until he's old and grey, and that is a crying shame.