Morris, Trammell deserve HOF/Paul Peterson
For a franchise considered to be one of the most storied in the history of major league baseball, the Detroit Tigers don’t get the respect due to them.
And that lack of respect is highlighted around this time every year when the Baseball Writers Association of America snubs its nose at certain Tigers when it comes time to voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Once again, the writers failed to cast enough votes for pitcher Jack Morris to gain the honor in his final chance.
Only the Veterans Committee can get him in now.
They conveniently forgot that Morris was the winningest pitcher of the 1980s. Or that he won 254 games in his career.
And that he was a clutch hurler who was the No. 1 pitcher for three teams (Detroit, Minnesota and Toronto) that captured World Series titles.
Instead, the writers point to a 3.90 lifetime earned-run average as the main reason for voting against him.
I firmly believe the reason that Morris has been kept out of the hall was the often prickly personality he displayed toward writers in his playing days.
Mr. Warmth, he wasn’t. I can recall a local resident recounting that while Morris (in Houghton on a snowmobiling trip) he was asked for an autograph. The pitcher’s answer was unprintable.
But you can’t judge an athlete for his off-field conduct, you have to go by his accomplishments on the field. And Morris did enough to gain entrance to the Hall.
Shortstop Alan Trammell is another Detroit player who has been ignored in the balloting. And it wasn’t because of his personality.
Trammell is one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. I found that out first-hand while doing on-field interviews at Tiger Stadium in the late 1970s.
He took the time to answer all my questions and even autographed a baseball for my then 8-year-old son.
His lifetime batting average of .285, 185 homers and 1,003 RBIs is more than on par with such recent Hall inductees as Barry Larkin of the Cincinnati Reds and Bill Mazeroski of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
For comparison’s sake, Larkin posted a .295 average with 198 homers. while Mazeroski compiled a batting average of .260 and hit 138 homers.
In 1987, Tram batted .347 with 23 homers and 105 RBIs, certainly MVP numbers.
He was also a flawless infielder, who teamed with second baseman Lou Whitaker to play 21 sterling years together in Motown.
Yet, the number of votes he gets every year has been dwindling.
And that doesn’t seem right.