Tuesday, April 9, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #18 ALAN TRAMMELL


AS STEADY AS THEY COME.




PLAYED 35 GAMES AT THIRD IN '93.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Like peas in a pod, it's hard to think about shortstop Alan Trammell without #2 Lou Whitaker coming to mind. They played from 1977-'95, forming the longest-running double-play show in major-league history. Trammell played 20 seasons, one more than Whitaker, and won three Silver Slugger Awards. He also was a six-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner. He hit 185 homers, drove in 1,003 runs and batted .285, playing more than 2,100 games at short.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Defining game might be more like it. In pivotal Game 4 of the '84 World Series on Oct. 13 at Tiger Stadium, Trammell belted a pair of two-run homers in the first and third innings off the Padres' Eric Show. That accounted for all of the Detroit runs in a 4-2 victory. The Tigers would clinch their first World Series title in 16 years the next day. Trammell was voted the World Series MVP after batting .450, slugging .800 with an on-base percentage of .500. 

DEFINING SEASON

  • Trammell put it all together in '87, batting .343 with 28 homers, 105 RBI but finished second to George Bell in the AL MVP voting. If you look at offensive WAR (measuring only baserunning and offense with no consideration for defense), Trammell was a league-leading 8.4, Bell 5.0. Remarkably, Trammell's average was only third in the league, behind Paul Molitor's .353 and Wade Boggs' .363.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Never led the AL in a single category, which has hurt his Hall of Fame candidacy.
  2. His 66.9 WAR rates 11th all-time among shortstops; all but two above him (Bill Dahlen and Derek Jeter) are in the Hall.
  3. From '73-'92, when most shortstops were counted on just to field, Trammell was a dangerous hitter. He had five of the top 13 OPS+ seasons among shortstops, including 155 in '87, which is the third highest all-time for shortstops during that period.
  4. Hired in '03 to manage the woeful Tigers, who lost an AL record 119 games. He lasted two more seasons, going 72-90 and 71-91.
  5. Finished in the top 10 in AL MVP voting three times ('84, '87, '88).

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