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Hall of Fame Poll: Alan Trammell

Would you vote Alan Trammell into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

I'm going to be AWOL for most of the weekend, but we'll try to get finished these polls, if nothing else.

Next on the list would be Mike Sweeney. He had a nice 16 year career. Hit .297/.366/.486, with 215 home runs, in 1454 games. He made 5 All-Star teams and was listed on MVP ballots 3 times, finishing 11th, 20th and 21st. Looking at his numbers, he had a better career than I remembered and had a few terrific seasons. In 2000 he hit .333/.407/.523 with 29 home runs and 144 RBI. In 2002 he hit .340/.417/.563 with 24 home runs. For a 4 or 5 year stretch he was a very good player, but falls well short of Hall of Fame level to me. 24.7 career bWAR.

Alan Trammell, on the other hand, was a terrific shortstop. There were some good ones in the AL in the 1980s. Trammell, Cal Ripken and Robin Yount changed the way the position was looked at.  Before those three, teams tended to go with good glove, bad bat players at short. Those three showed you could have a good glove and a good bat. Ripken and Yount are in the Hall of Fame.

It was interesting, when Cal Ripken came up, everyone just figured he would move to third base. In fact the Orioles traded a very good third baseman to make room for Cal, when was ready to come up, but Earl Weaver, instead of looking at his 'body type', watched him play short and decided he would continue to play at short. Before these three, shortstops weren't supposed to be of any value offensively.

Trammell hit 185 home runs, drove in 1023 and stole 236 bases in a 20 year career, all with the Detroit Tigers. His career batting line was .285/.352/.415. Baseball Reference has him at a 70.4 WAR.

He was named to 6 All-Star teams, won 4 Gold Gloves and 3 Silver Sluggers. His career WAR is 70.4, 63rd all-time among position players on the career list. Bill James had him ranked as the 9th best SS of all time in his New Historical Abstract. He, more than likely, would have dropped a couple of spots in the years since James wrote that.

He played most of his 20 year career with Lou Whitaker (a fine player too, I think Trammell was the better of the two, but I can't imagine seeing a better pairing ever again). Off the top of my head I can't think of another pair of middle infielders that played together for most of 19 years. As much as I'm not a Tigers' fan, I think it is pretty great that he played 20 seasons, all of them with Detroit.

This is Trammell's 15th and last time on the ballot, last year he appeared on 25.1% of the Writers' ballots. I really think this is one that the Writers have gotten totally wrong. To me, they are showing a lack of understanding about how the game has changed in the past 35-40 years.