Ian Kinsler to wear number 3

Nearly two decades after Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker made their place in history as one of baseball’s best double-play combinations, the Tigers will field a middle-infield tandem with the same jersey numbers. The team announced Monday on Twitter that their new second baseman, Ian Kinsler, will wear Trammell’s famous number 3.

The team expects Kinsler to man second base opposite shortstop Jose Iglesias, who donned Whitaker’s old number 1 when he became a Tiger at last summer’s Trade Deadline. The numbers should look familiar, albeit in reverse order, to Tigers fans who watched Trammell and Whitaker as teammates up the middle for nearly 20 years, from 1977 into the early ’90s. The two set an American League record for appearing in 1,918 games as teammates, and turned more double plays than any middle-infield tandem in Major League history.

Given their longevity and their success, the fact that any player can still wear those numbers on a Tigers uniform has always been a difficult topic in Detroit. The Tigers have only retired the jersey numbers of Hall of Famers with the exception of Willie Horton’s number 23. The Hall of Fame voting process has not been kind to Whitaker, who was knocked off the ballot after one year, or Trammell, who has not yet come close to the 75 percent selection needed for induction.

That said, no Tiger has worn number 47 since Jack Morris, a teammate of Trammell and Whitaker from 1977 to 1990. He has come closer to induction than any other 1984 Tiger, but still needs a boost this year in his 15th and final time on the ballot.

While Iglesias became the first player since Whitaker to wear number 1 in Detroit, Kinsler won’t be the first number 3 in Detroit since Trammell. Gary Sheffield donned the number during his Tiger tenure in 2007 and 2008.

Kinsler’s old number 5, which he wore for all eight of his seasons in Texas, is off limits in Detroit. That number was retired with Hank Greenberg, so Kinsler needed a new number. He wore number 22 at the University of Missouri.

24 Comments

Jason, love your blog and your reporting on our Tigers. So I pains me to suggest a correction on this post. It kills me that Jack is still not in the hall and he was my favorite pitcher of that era. The first thing I bought with my own money with my first job was a photo portrait of Jack at the old Mudhena stadium. So it hurt me that they didn’t retire his number and was even more upset when C.J. N itkowski wore 47.

Hmm, Nitkowski’s page on baseball-reference doesn’t list 47 as one of his Detroit numbers. He wore 27, 36, 48 and 49 as a Tiger, and he wore 47 in Houston and Washington. But supposedly he didn’t wear 47 in Detroit:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/n/nitkoc.01.shtml

O´s trying to move Johnson. He is a grounders pitchers , would be the new D a fit for that kind of pitcher? the right side remains average but…

Thanks a bunch for the new topics JB. Makes reading a lot easier!

No problem. I was off all week over Thanksgiving, which is why I didn’t post anything. You might see the same thing happen after the winter meetings next week.

I think he would be a perfect fit. No one came remotely close to him in double plays.
He had 17 in 63 IP.
Not to mention 50 saves.
Kinsler is rock solid turning the DP. Better than Omar. Also he doesn’t panic when diving to his left and coming up to throw. He doesn’t seem to handle the routine plays as “routinely” as Omar though.
I hear Castellanos doesn’t play a good 3B. I have a very funny feeling that we will be quite happy with his D.

Mister Fister is now a National. Cry me a river. I love that guy!!

I just hope fister to the nationals doesn’t mean we resign Scherzer. i simply don’t want to resign scherzer. he’s going to want the moon and i don’t think he’ll be worth a shooting star

Well that was fun! Fister for horse apples! Almost as pumped as when Huff and Renteria were here!

absolute disgust. i haven’t seen anywhere that this was anything less than terrible trade by DD.

Maybe Rich knows about these guys we’re getting?

Seems pretty clear Tigers aren’t trying to win anymore. They get Fister for a below average 2nd baseman which I thought Kinsler was and a few low level minor leaguers. Dave Dombrowski is making me reconsider my season ticket package. I can watch them from home for a lot less money. Pretty underwhelmed with this. Doesn’t even seem like a fair trade?

nobody – i mean it nobody – has put up an argument that this was a good deal for the tigers.
.
what can I say – DD wets the bed some times.

At first blush this does not seem like the trade that was needed to help the club. We need bullpen help. Serious (not wishful hope & dream stuff) bullpen help.
We needed a power bat in LF. I am being a bit reactionary on this but this seems more than a little bizarre.

Who did we get??

we got a 2b man who can play left and has the same career OPS as don Kelly (.634)
.
a bullpen lefty with 27 MLB IP with a 7.2 K/9
.
and a left-handed starter prospect, is 17-20 with a 4.29 ERA and a 1.356 WHIP in four seasons in the minors. never pitched above the Double-A level.

Washington is in seventh heaven. Head banging in Detroit. I don’t know a thing about any of these 3 players except one of them has a potty mouth.

Lombardozzi .616 (2013) and .639 career OPS
Donny Kelly Baby .652 (2013) and .634 career OPS

Steve Lombardozzi??; Ian Krol?; and Robbie Ray???????
We should expect Krol may be better than Coke. Lombardozzi to platoon with Andy (that in itself would be ridiculous) and Ray will end up being in Toledo’s rotation.
I don’t give good marks to DD on this one.
If he wanted to get Smyly in the rotation he should have just traded Scherzer for Harper!!!!
At least that would fill a hole.
We don’t have a power LHB and we don’t have a closer or set-up man.

Two wonderful things happened this off season. Leyland left us to fend for ourselves (thank goodness), and DD miraculously improved the team by subtracting an egotistical 1st baseman.
But this??? Like I said, bizarre.

I would expect at least one of the guys we got in return would be a lights out reliever and it doesn’t even sound like we got that. I just can’t believe we got so little in return for an “ace” of many staffs. Plus, he’s a gold glove pitcher.

we essentially got don kelly, darin downs and a AA/A starting prospect that looks “meh”

Bonehead trade. Smyly is Not anywhere near fister quality. So now we are down at least a few wins via this trade compared to last year. Plus short rbis from fielder trade. Tigers not making playoffs in current form.

Starting pitching: downgraded
bullpen: downgraded (smyly > Krol)
bench: no change
…….. resulting in yet another bonified boneheaded move by DD!

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