Thursday, January 9, 2014

Time is running out on Alan Trammel's Hall of Fame ballot

Think Jack Morris is the most upset former Tiger now that the results of the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame election have been published?  

Think again…  Well actually don’t. 

Alan Trammell might be upset, but he won’t say so.  He will praise the newly elected Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas, and then say something along the lines of “what a privilege it was to play baseball with and against them”.  

That is how I imagine a conversation with “Tram” would probably go.

Alan Trammell won’t be upset at the results of the voting, Jack Morris might be, but Trammell won’t.  So let me be outraged on his behalf.

After examining the election results despite not playing a game, making an error, dropping the ball that would have been the final out in a perfect game, or failing to walk a little old lady across the street AND failing to hold the door open for his wife, Alan Trammell has lost 92 precious votes in the past 2 elections.

This after climbing steadily from a low of 73 votes (13.4% of ballots) in 2007, to a high of 211 votes (36.8%) in 2012. 

Now, with his final 2 seasons of eligibility looming, Trammell also has to compete with Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz (a former Tigers minor league farmhand, lest you forget), Gary Sheffield (also a former Tiger), and Nomar Garciaparra joining the ballot in 2015, with Ken Griffey Jr. and Jim Edmonds eligible for the first time in 2016, Trammell’s final year on the BBWAA ballot.

Trammell’s candidacy, which is truly legitimate, to join the immortals enshrined in Cooperstown will fade away over the next two voting cycles. 

ESPN’s Jayson Stark has been evaluating ballots for years and his latest column  (gives more details, if you are so inclined). Tram, by the way, doesn’t fare as badly as Lee Smith, if you don’t bother to look, so news COULD be worse.

Look if you are reading this, you are probably a Tigers fan, and don’t need me to spout all of Tram’s stats. You know them all.

What you probably don’t know is that using Bill James Hall of Fame Monitor: for Batting Alan Trammell scores a 118, with a “likely HOFer = 100”.

Using Jay Jaffe’s JAWS scoring system, Alan Trammell ranks as the 11th best Shortstop of all time:

Shortstop (11th)
, 70.3 career WAR/44.6 7yr-peak WAR/57.5 JAWS
Average HOF SS (out of 21) = 66.7 career WAR/42.8 7yr-peak WAR/54.7 JAWS

(info courtesy of

Looking into my crystal ball at the results of the elections for 2015 &16,
in 2015 First year eligibles Johnson, Martinez and hold-over Craig Biggio will probably be elected.

In 2016, I think Smoltz, Griffey Jr. (in his first year) and possibly Mike Piazza or Jeff Bagwell get elected into the Hall. 

The BBWAA won’t elect more than 3 into the Hall in either year.  The last time more than 3 players were elected was 1955, and it has only happened 3 times (including the original HOF class that consisted of Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson) since 1936.  

Bad news Tiger fans: Alan Trammell misses out on election, which is a shame. 

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