Jack Morris' name hadn't even been announced when the former ace's phone started lighting up with congratulations for his Hall of Fame induction.On MLB Network, Jeff Idelson, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, was listing the accomplishments of a certain St. Paul, Minn., native that happened to pitch
Jack Morris' name hadn't even been announced when the former ace's phone started lighting up with congratulations for his Hall of Fame induction.
On MLB Network, Jeff Idelson, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, was listing the accomplishments of a certain St. Paul, Minn., native that happened to pitch from 1977-94 and led all pitchers in wins, innings and complete games during that span.
Messages started coming in from friends who immediately did the math, but Morris continued to stare silently at the screen of his hotel television, waiting for his name to be called before celebrating. Soon, he was smiling even more as his former Tigers teammate Alan Trammell was also announced to be heading for Cooperstown.
As the historic announcement concluded, Morris only offered one word: "Unbelievable."
Not only had Morris achieved his dream of entering the Hall of Fame, he was going to do it next to a teammate with whom he had come up in the Minors and then played with for 14 seasons with the Tigers.
Morris audibly remembered seeing Trammell last month at a card show. Neither man had expected the Modern Era Committee to vote them in, but Morris had insisted Trammell deserved the honor.
"Everything that came my way is because of his effort," Morris said.
Once the television in the hotel room was turned off, Morris promised that every message would receive a phone call back. However, he first had to hop on a conference call with the Baseball Writers' Association of America to discuss his enshrinement.
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Soon after the call was done, Morris dialed Trammell's number, not expecting an answer due to the shortstop's similarly busy phone lines. Almost immediately, Trammell picked up.
"I want to give you a hug so bad man, I'm so happy," Morris exclaimed when he heard Trammell's voice.
The two ran through the busy schedule that came with their good fortune, and then even more congratulations came from those on Trammell's side of the call.
"I'm so proud to be going in with you. I'm usually not speechless, but my mind's [expletive] rambling right now," Trammell said as the call ended.
Morris' day continued as he walked through the hotel for an appearance on MLB Network. Happy words came from everywhere, including an invitation up to a suite where the Twins brass were waiting with champagne.
After entering the suite to applause, Morris was presented champagne and made a toast.
"Thanks for being here. Thanks for letting me share it with you. It means the world to me," Morris said as he downed the champagne. "And to think kids spray that with goggles on now."
Morris finally got to see Trammell on Monday before their long schedule of Hall of Fame duties. Trammell offered a handshake, but Morris immediately opened his arms for a hug.
"We just saw each other a couple weeks ago, didn't we?," Trammell said.
"We had a different look in our eyes," Morris replied.
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com.