Trammell’s Last Hurrah

DET - Alan TrammellI received an e-mail newsletter from the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum today, and glancing through it I saw that there was a section spotlighting the fifteen new names on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, a group which included Ken Griffey Jr, Trevor Hoffman, and Jim Edmonds…three players on the outer fringe of my baseball-loving past. Further down the page I found a list of the seventeen returning nominees; players who’d remained eligible after receiving at least five percent of votes the previous year. Included on that second list was former Tigers shortstop Alan Trammell, who’d retired after the 1996 season, and who’s currently playing for Detroit in my SP78 Replay season.

Added to the list of nominees was a short notation, stating that Trammell was appearing on the HOF ballot for the 15th and final time. After double-checking the names of the remaining players on the list, I realized that Trammell was indeed going to be the last player from my SP78 season to ever appear on the ballot. And that to me was a sad thing: I remembered back in 1998, when Dennis Martinez of the Orioles was the last of my ‘real game card’ players to retire, while Mike Morgan—a minor leaguer with the A’s in 1978—was the last of my ‘created card’ players to call it quits, finally, in 2002. And now, I was losing another Statis Pro player, albeit in a different way, but melancholy for me nonetheless.

I may be a bit biased, having stopped following baseball after the 1994 strike, but if I could induct just one player from that list of 32 candidates, it would definitely be Trammell. His career stats aren’t bad at all: 20 seasons as a Tiger, with seven seasons hitting above .300, four AL Gold Gloves, six times an All-Star, and a World Series MVP award in 1984. As for his current SP78 stats, well, those aren’t so hot: a .238 average in 103 games, with 97 hits, 14 doubles, and 38 RBI. With numbers like that, a Rookie of the Year award does not appear to be on his SP78 horizon, but with his solid play at short helping to keep the Tigers in the AL East race, a post-season appearance just might be.

Two days from now, on January 6th, the Class of 2016 Hall of Fame inductees will be announced. Of course I’d like to see Trammell make it, but according to all I’ve read, the chances of that happening are slim. And with that, another ‘last hurrah’ will take place, and Trammell will quietly disappear from the ballot, one of the last of a dying breed of SP78 players who still have ties to today’s game.

10 responses to “Trammell’s Last Hurrah

  1. I sort of feel that the Hall is voting in guys like Trammell to avoid discussing the inevitable “PED era.”

    • I wonder what kind of debate/controversy that would stir up, if Trammell was the only player elected to the HOF this year! An interesting thought, with the whole steroid era avoidance issue; McGwire is in his final year on the ballot, and Bonds and Sosa their fourth, and not one of them is close to garnering the required number of votes for election.

      But both Ken Griffey Jr and Trevor Hoffman are on the ballot for the first time, and according to an article I just read on-line, both are HOF-caliber players who have never been implicated in using PEDs. So if they make it in, maybe that’ll be our proof. But truthfully, after Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn were chosen, I wouldn’t have cared if the BBWAA had decided never to induct another player again…just close the election doors and be done with it!

  2. 40.9% of the vote for Trammell. And I still want my “Elect one, then you have to remove one, and we get to vote on that” rule. Imagine Mike Piazza earning election, but having Roberto Alomar chosen by the Fringe Committee to be put up against Piazza – winner is in, loser is out!

    I also remember watching Trammell play basketball for Kearny HS against Poway in 1975, I think. He was one of the best H.S. basketball players in SDCIF section history up to that point.

    • Well, I guess my last SP78 HOF nominee is off the ballots; maybe someday, using your system, he’ll get in by trading places with Elmer Flick or Zack Wheat. And in my opinion: Piazza in, Alomar out!

      I saw Trammell play in his home ballpark only once, back in 1984, when he batted second and went 1-for-4 in a 4-1 Tigers loss to the Mariners. Lance Parrish also played for Detroit that day, as did Darrell Evans and Larry Herndon. And have you ever, in one season, seen the World Series participants play a regular season game in their home parks? I have: in ’84, Detroit and San Diego!

  3. Well I can’t remember the year when the Dodgers and Angels played against each other in the Series, but in ’87 we saw the Giants and A’s and they played each other in ’89. Somehow I don’t think you’re counting that one, though.

  4. Once u finish your season, u should post a comparison of not only each players single season stats to real life, but their lifetime stats in real life as compared to their lifetime stats with the sp78 stats instead of the real 1978 stats.

    • Actually, that was one reason why I started playing this season: I was curious to see how the close the player cards and their stat formulas compared to their true 1978 statistics. So yes, I was already planning on a SP78-to-1978 comparison to add to the blog when the season ended, but an interesting idea you have of incorporating the SP78 stats into a player’s lifetime stats, which would probably result in many, many milestone achievements falling on different dates…or perhaps not happening at all.

      One milestone that could be in jeopardy is Lou Brock’s 3,000th hit, which he achieved in 1979 before retiring at season’s end. Right now he has 32 hits with 46 games left in the Cardinals schedule, with 11 more hits needed in the next month and a half to stay on pace for 3,000 in ’79. I guess that means I’d better start playing him every day…at least until he collects his 43rd hit.

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