Let the debate over Tram and Lou resume
Back from Thanksgiving break to find that the Hall of Fame ballot is out, and the debate over who deserves to get in. If you’re among the many Tiger fans who see Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker as deserving Hall of Famers who haven’t gotten a fair shake — or in Whitaker’s case, didn’t get a good look at all in his lone year on the ballot — you have company.
Joe Posnanski blogged over the weekend about a small group of players who received 15-20 votes in their only year on the ballot — enough to claim a group of support, but not enough to make it to next year’s voting. Lou Whitaker not only leads Posnanski’s list, but draws comparisons to Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg. Fittingly, if you go to Whitaker’s page on baseball-reference.com, it lists Ryne Sandberg as his most similar player. It’s a good read, and not just for the Whitaker discussion.
While Keith Law doesn’t yet have a Hall of Fame vote, he has his opinions on who’s deserving. He points to Wins Above Replacement as one stat to consider among hitters, and notes that Whitaker is high on the list. In fact, at No. 54, he’s the highest-ranking position player to have been eligible for the Hall and not get in. Among players who are eligible, Law makes his case for Trammell, who isn’t far off on that Wins Above Replacement list at 67th. He sees the situation much like a lot of Tigers fans, that Trammell gets penalized for being in Ripken’s shadow.