As he falls off the ballot, here are 4 reasons why Alan Trammell is a Hall of Famer in our hearts
A great poet once said that every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end, and so it goes with the Baseball Hall of Fame. For all the awesome players who take their place in Cooperstown each year, not everyone on the ballot can earn induction.
And so, while the Class of 2016 is one for the record books, we wanted to take some time to remember someone on the other end: Alan Trammell, longtime shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, who came up just short in his final year of eligibility. While his days on the ballot are over, we wanted to remember his awesomeness one last time.
He was clutch as clutch could be
These days, the idea of "clutch" is easily disregarded ... by people who have clearly never heard of Alan Trammell. Below is but a brief list of his notable heroics:
- The Tigers hadn't been to the postseason in over a decade when Trammell led Detroit to the 1984 Fall Classic against the Padres. With his team up 2-1 in the series heading into Game 4, Trammell decided to take over:
Trammell's homers in the first and third inning proved to be the difference in Detroit's 4-2 win. The Tigers went on to win the title -- the team's first in 16 years -- and Trammell was named Series MVP.
- It's been called "The Ultimate Grand Slam." Bottom of the ninth, down three, bases loaded, a chance for the narrowest of walkoff wins. Only 27 men have pulled it off, and as you might have guessed, Alan Trammell was one of them. During a June 1988 game against the Yankees, with the teams battling atop the AL East, Trammell was called upon to pinch-hit with Detroit down 6-3:
- By September of that year, the Tigers found themselves chasing the Blue Jays in the East, when Trammell essentially lost his mind for an entire month. The shortstop reached safely in 19 of Detroit's last 21 games, including an 18-game hitting streak -- and yes, the Tigers captured the division crown.
He played shortstop as well as anybody
Whether on his own ...
... or making sweet, sweet music with double play partner-in-crime Lou Whitaker ...
... Trammell was about as smooth as they came at one of the game's most important positions, taking home four Gold Gloves in his career. And when Detroit brought back the 1984 team for its 30th anniversary, they knew they needed to get the band back together:
He could get tossed without even stepping onto the field
Trammell's career in baseball extended beyond his 20 years as an MLB player. He managed the Tigers for three seasons in the early 2000s, before serving as bench coach for the Cubs and Diamondbacks. And while he spent most of those years exercising his baseball acumen, he occasionally had reason to exercise an 80-grade yelling tool:
He had a pretty stellar acting career
Sure, that career only amounted to one brief cameo, but when that cameo is a few fantastic minutes opposite real-life Tigers fan Tom Selleck in an episode of "Magnum, P.I.," it goes a long way:
All hope for the Hall is not lost for Trammell, though -- he'll be under consideration by the Expansion Era Committee beginning in 2020.