Last year, we did our first ever debate on where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.

Chairman: Alan TrammellLou Whitaker

Is it the same debate?

Okay, it can’t be, as just because Whitaker got screwed by not making it off of the first ballot and we are entering the fifteenth year, but they will have something in common.  Neither are going to get there through traditional means.

Trammell had a quarter of the vote last year, but it was way down from his peak at over 36 in 2012 and it is such a shame as he is a Hall of Famer from every metric I can come up with.  Rather than regurgitate stats (though I will later), that show him as a Hall of Famer, I ask this:

If Cal Ripken Jr. never existed, or played third base, is Trammell already in?

Spheniscus: Yes. This is the Andre Tippett syndrome all over again that I talked about in the Tim Rainessection. To a certain extent Barry Larkin had the same issue with Ozzie Smith. Larkin just had the advantage of being much younger than Smith, so eventually his greatness shone through once Ozzie flipped his way into retirement. Trammell is older than Ripken and never got that shot.

The biggest issue with Trammell is that his stat line per 162 games looks like this:





















You know what other contemporary AL East player who started his career at shortstop before moving to third base stat line that looks like? No, not Ripken. It is almost perfectly John Valentin’s per 162 average. And no one thinks that John Valentin is getting into the Hall, even with his unassisted triple play. Heck he never made a ballot.

Don’t believe me that on paper he is John Valentin? Check for yourself…

Now Trammell played 9 more years and had more “down years” to drag the number down. Plus their JAWS scores are clearly different. Trammell is #11 all time in JAWS for a shortstop and Valentin is #53. Also notable is that the only guys ahead of Trammell who aren’t in the Hall are the active Alex Rodriguez and the would-be on his 100th year of eligibility if they had a Hall when he retired Bill Dahlen. And the guy directly behind him is St. Jeter himself (hallowed be his name). And the next five guys under him are all in the Hall. But look at that stat line again. Does that scream anywhere near the Hall to you? Because it looks kinda ugly when it stands on its own.    

Chairman: Ouch.  I can’t say John Valentin is a name I thought we would talk about during this, but I still have time to crowbar Shannon Stewart, Ernie Whitt and Dave Stieb into one of these.

You’re right, that 162 Game average is not that impressive, but I have always been one to look at what the player did when he was in his prime, and while you can say he compiled his way to a high bWAR, he did finish in the top ten in WAR for position players six times while actually winning that category once.  He is still in the top fifty all-time in defensive bWAR and is hanging on to the top ten overall in bWAR for position players. 

I don’t think that his stat line would measure up with a lot of the shortstops of today, but in his era, and for his position he squeaks in to me.

What I can’t figure out is how he doesn’t get more play for spending his entire career with a major market (Detroit), winning a World Series and appearing in this:

That’s Hall of Fame baby!

Spheniscus: The only thing that clip was missing was some wayyyy too tight shorts.

Funny thing is that I agree with you. Trammell is one of the 15 guys I would vote for and actually would get one of my 10 votes this year. I couldn’t believe that the stat line per 162 was so bad.

Do you realize that if Trammell doesn’t get in this year, which I am pretty secure in saying he won’t with how far he has to go, the only person associated with that legendary Tigers team who will be in the Hall is Sparky Anderson? Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Jack Morris, Howard Johnson, Chet Lemon, Darrell Evans, Kirk Gibson, Lance Parrish, Willie Hernandez, all shut out. Doesn’t that seem odd? Not a single Hall of Famer was playing for that team?

It is like the No Name Defense on the ’72 Dolphins. They crushed everyone, but it took until 2001, almost 30 years, before they decided someone should be in there and picked Nick Buoniconti to represent the whole defense. We’ve already had 30 years since the ’84 Tigers (I know, it makes me feel old too) and we are down to the same scenario. A Senior Committee is going to have to decide who, if anyone, from that team would be in the Hall. Trammell, Whitaker, and Morris are the best three candidates. But their being the best candidates hasn’t helped them so far.

So what does Trammell get for his final shot with the writers?

Chairman:  And not one of those guys (except for Morris) came close!  I remember when that World Series team started 35 and 5, and crushed the Padres in that World Series.  Hell, Sparky would have got in on just Cincinnati alone.

No matter.  My pretend vote that I would give won’t help him and he will finish with a sad high teen vote.  Far less than he deserves and that team in general.

Spheniscus: Yeah, I’ll give him 30 just because it is his last year on the ballot and people will give him a little extra bump. But that is still way below what he needs. He’ll have to wait to be brought in by a senior committee. Magnum would be gobsmacked. And you wouldn’t like Magnum when he’s gobsmacked. 

10. Alan Trammell

The longtime Shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, Alan Trammell spent almost as much time on the Hall of Fame ballot as he did with the Tigers.  The career Detroit Tiger was the MVP of the 1984 World Series; a team that had one of the best seasons in modern history.  
While the Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot for this year was already known, it is worth noting that the names on the ballot have been made official and have been sent out to prospective voters.

Let’s go through the ballot and take a quick look shall we?

The new headliner is Ken Griffey Jr., who is expected by many (including us) to enter immediately.  He holds the “1C” rank on our baseball list.  It is worth noting that the ineligible Pete Rose and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson hold “1A” and “1B” respectively.

Griffey is not the only major star making his debut on the ballot, though he is the only one we think will get in immediately.  Closer, Trevor Hoffman and Outfielder, Jim Edmonds are also on the ballot for the first time.  Hoffman is second overall in Saves, and Edmonds is a former Silver Slugger and multi-time Gold Glove Winner, and they are ranked #47 and #44 on our baseball list respectively.

Billy Wagner, Garret Anderson, Troy Glaus, Mike Sweeney, David Eckstein and Mike Hampton are also intriguing candidates who could possibly gain a few votes on their debut ballot, but are not likely to get past this year.

Brad Ausmus, Luis Castillo, Mark Grudzielanek, Jason Kendall, Mike Lowell and Randy Winn are also on the ballot, but are not expected to get any votes.

This group joins the following holdovers from last year’s ballot, which are:

Mike Piazza, (69.9%, 4th Year) Ranked #4 on

Jeff Bagwell, (55.7%, 6th Year) Ranked #5 on

Tim Raines, (55.0%, 9th Year) Ranked #7 on

Curt Schilling, (39.2%, 4th Year) Ranked #9 on

Roger Clemens, (37.5%, 4th Year) Ranked #2 on

Barry Bonds, (36.8%, 4th Year) Ranked #3 on

Lee Smith, (30.2%, 14th Year) Ranked #30 on

Edgar Martinez, (27.0%, 7th Year) Ranked #16 on

Alan Trammell, (25.1%, 15th Year) Ranked #13 on

Mike Mussina, (24.6% 3rd Year) Ranked #6 on

Jeff Kent, (14.0 %, 3rd Year) Ranked #45 on

Fred McGriff, (12.9%, 7th Year) Ranked #29 on

Larry Walker, (11.8%, 6th Year) Ranked #15 on

Gary Sheffield, (11.7%, 2nd Year) Ranked #19 on

Mark McGwire (10.0%, 10th Year) Ranked #12 on

Sammy Sosa, (6.6%, 4th Year) Ranked #18 on

Nomar Garciaparra, (5.5%, 2nd Year) Unranked on

As they have reduced the time on the ballot from fifteen years to ten, this will be McGwire’s last crack it.

Lee Smith and Alan Trammell were grandfathered under the previous rule, but this is also Trammell’s last shot as he is entering his fifteenth year on the ballot.

Who do you think will be the class that will be inducted next summer in Cooperstown?

We know this much, debates on who should get in will dominate the sports blogs and countless opinions will be given…including ours!

Damn, this is a long process isn’t it?

We have told you that we are looking to do for each major North American Franchise in professional sports their top 50 players.  There have been quite a few that we have done, but as you know there are a lot more left to do!

As such, we have another team whose top 50 players we are ready to announce, in our opinion of course.

It is a return to Motown, with multi-time World Series Champion, the Detroit Tigers.

As one of the more successful and tenured franchises in Major League Baseball, this is quite a list, and you can see the complete 50 here.

We encourage you all to take a look and let us know your thoughts on this group and we thank you for your support.
As we continue or slow process of ranking the all-time Top 50 of each major North American franchise, we also have to constantly update the ones we already have. The one that we have done this time is revising the Detroit Tigers up to accomplishments up to the end of 2016 season.

In this particular case, we did not just adjust everything based on what transpired in 2015. The way in which we determine our baseball lists are as follows:

  1. Sabremetric tallies while with that team, mostly WAR.
  1. Traditional metrics and how they finished in their respective league overall.
  1. Playoff accomplishment.
  1. Their overall impact on the team and other intangibles not reflected in a stat sheet.
Remember, this is ONLY based on what a player does on that particular team and not what he accomplished elsewhere and also note that we have placed an increased importance on the first two categories.

This has resulted in a significant shift in the overall Top 50 of the Tigers and many new entries that had not been listed previously.

The revised list can be found here.
The “Hall of Fame” season is really amping up. The Baseball Hall of Fame Modern Era Committee has announced the ten finalists for consideration. This new Committee covers those who participated from 1970 to 1987.

The nominees are:

Steve Garvey: Ranked #31 on Garvey was a ten time All Star and was named the 1974 National League MVP. He accumulated 2,599 Hits with a .294 Batting Average with 272 Home Runs. He was on the ballot for the fifteen full years finishing as high as 42.6 %.

Tommy John: Ranked #16 on John won 283 Games and is a four time All Star. A two-time Cy Young runner-up, John had 2,245 Strikeouts over his career. He was on the ballot for fifteen years peaking at 31.7% on his final year of eligibility.

Don Mattingly: Ranked #54 on Playing his entire career with the New York Yankees, Mattingly was the American League MVP in 1985. Mattingly went to six All Star Games and had a career Batting Average of .307 with 222 Home Runs. He would also win the 1984 Batting Title. He was on the ballot for fifteen years with a high of 28.2% in his first year of eligibility.

Marvin Miller: The head of the Players Association from 1966 to 1982, salaries skyrocketed under his tenure.

Jack Morris: Ranked #11 on Morris would win 254 Games and is a four time World Series Champion. He was on the ballot for fifteen years and came very close with a 67.7% finish in his fourteenth year.

Dale Murphy: Ranked #42 on In a career spent mostly with Atlanta, Murphy was a back-to-back MVP winner (1982 & 1983) and blasted 398 Home Runs. He was a five time All Star. On the ballot for fifteen years, Murphy peaked at 23.2% in 2000.

Dave Parker: Ranked #28 on “The Cobra” was the 1978 National League MVP and hit 339 Home Runs over his career. He was also a two time World Series Champion. He was on the ballot for fifteen years and finished as high as 24.5% in his second year of eligibility.

Ted Simmons: Ranked #14 on Simmons was an eight time All Star and one of the top Catchers of his day. He was only on the ballot for one year where he finished with 3.7% of the ballot.

Luis Tiant: Ranked #44 on Tiant was known mostly for his time in Boston and he was a three time All Star with 229 career Wins. He was on the ballot for fifteen years and finished as high as 30.9, which occurred in his first year of eligibility.

Alan Trammell: Ranked #12 on Trammell played his entire career with the Detroit Tigers and was a six time All Star. Trammell had 2,365 Hits and was the 1984 World Series MVP. He was on the ballot for fifteen years and finished with 40.9% on the ballot in his last year of eligibility.

It will be very interesting to see if any of these names will get in. To be chosen, a candidate must receive 75% of the 16 member vote.
The 1984 World Series Champion Detroit Tigers finally have player representation in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Actually, they now have two.

The Modern Era Baseball Committee have selected both Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, who have both received the necessary 75% of the 16 man committee required to have entered Cooperstown.

Jack Morris won 254 Games over an 18 year career with the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians, the first three of which saw him win World Series Championships with. Morris was the ace of the 1984 Tigers team, and was a key member of the Blue Jays back-to-back titles in 1992 & 1993, but it was his performance in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series with the Minnesota Twins where he pitched ten innings of shutout baseball to win the game. Morris didn’t always have the best statistics but when it was a big game, he was definitely a go-to pitcher.

Morris’ teammate from the ’84 Tigers, Alan Trammell also got in. The Shortstop played his entire career with the Tigers and was a six time All Star. Trammell was a four time Silver Slugger, three time Gold Glove recipient and was the runner-up for the 1987 AL MVP.

Steve Garvey, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Luis Tiant were also on the ballot, however not chosen.

Morris and Trammell will be removed from next year’s Baseball list and we look forward to few weeks to see whom else the Baseball Writers of American will induct with them.

We here at would like to congratulate both Alan Trammell and Jack Morris at this time.
As we gear up for the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting and announcements, the overriding question is: Have we returned to normal?

To put that into perspective, how's this for abnormal? In 2013, with a ballot overstuffed with Hall of Fame-caliber candidates (I counted 14), not one candidate was elected to the Hall. Adding to the debacle was the first appearance on a Hall of Fame ballot by Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both of whom brought the bubbling issue of players suspected or confirmed of having used performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to an apoplectic, moralistic boil.
With its second meeting under a revamped structure, the Baseball Hall of Fame veterans committee will convene to evaluate nine players and one executive whose impact was made primarily during the Modern Baseball era, defined as having occurred between 1970 and 1987, and perhaps elect someone to the Hall of Fame. Their ballot results will be announced on December 10 during the winter meetings.
We here at thought it would be fun to take a look at the major awards in North American team sports and see how it translates into Hall of Fame potential.

Needless to say, different awards in different sports yield hall of fame potential.  In basketball, the team sport with the least amount of players on a roster, the dividend for greatness much higher.  In baseball, it is not as much as a great individual season does not have the same impact.
We here at thought it would be fun to take a look at the major awards in North American team sports and see how it translates into Hall of Fame potential.

Needless to say, different awards in different sports yield hall of fame potential. In basketball, the team sport with the least amount of players on a roster, the dividend for greatness much higher. In baseball, it is not as much as a great individual season does not have the same impact.

We are now taking a look at the Gold Glove Award, given annually to the best defensive player in MLB in each respective position.

12. Alan Trammell

As one half of the longest double play tandems (with Lou Whitaker), Alan Trammell was a solid shortstop who spent his entire career with the Detroit Tigers.  Trammell didn’t just play there; he excelled there and was a major reason that Detroit won the World Series in 1984.