Detroit Enshrines Two Of Its Own In Cooperstown

The Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 poses in Cooperstown, New York. From left, Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, Alan Trammell and Jack Morris. Photo courtesy National Baseball Hall of Fame/Twitter.

Two of the heroes of 1984 will be inducted into baseball’s pantheon on Sunday.

The two players worked through the Detroit Tigers organisation and spent a lot of their careers in Detroit. One of them stayed there for his entire career. The other is part of the lore of both the Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Both of them played a significant role in the Tigers’ most recent World Series title. Now the summer of 1984 will be immortalized at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Shortstop Alan Trammell and starting pitcher Jack Morris are among the six players being inducted into the Hall of Fame Sunday afternoon. Both are expected to go in wearing the Olde English D.

Trammell and Morris were inducted by a vote of the Veterans Committee, which this year concentrated on players in the Modern Era of 1970-1987.

The Tigers drafted Trammell and Morris in the 1976 MLB Draft, Trammell in the second round, Morris the fifth. Trammell made his big-league debut with the Tigers in 1977 and remained with the team until his retirement in 1996.

Trammell, who wore #3, had a career batting average of .285, with 185 home runs, 2,365 hits and 1,003 runs-batted-in. In addition to his 1984 World Series title, he was also Series MVP. He was a six-time All-Star who won four Golden Glove Awards at shortstop and three Silver Slugger Awards.

He is probably best known for being half of the most famous double-play combination in baseball, playing alongside second baseman Lou Whitaker from 1977 to 1995.

The popular, affable Trammell returned to the Tigers as their manager for the 2003 season and had the misfortune of losing an American League-record 119 games that year. He was fired after the 2005 season. He now works in the Tigers’ front office as a special assistant to the general manager.

Morris also joined the big-league club in 1977 as a fill-in for fan favourite Mark Fidrych. He pitched in Detroit through the 1990 season. During that time, wearing #47, he compiled a 198-150 record and in 1984, won a World Series and pitched his only career no-hitter.

He spent one season with the Minnesota Twins, winning the 1991 World Series with them and earning the Series MVP award. His next two seasons were with the high-flying Blue Jays, winning the Series both seasons. He finished his playing career in 1994 with the Cleveland Indians.

Known for his combative, stand-offish personality early in his career, Morris mellowed as his career went on. He went on to serve as a broadcaster for the Jays, Twins and the Tigers and has done colour commentary for Fox Sports.

The other players being inducted are Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman, elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Also entering the Hall of Fame are sportswriter Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon-Journal, winner of the Spink Award; and NBC sportscaster Bob Costas, winner of the Ford Frick Award.

The Tigers have announced that they will retire Trammell’s and Morris’ numbers. Morris’ #47 will be retired before the Tigers’ August 12 game against the Twins. Trammell’s #3 will be retired before the August 26 game against the Chicago White Sox.

The number 47 is seen on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Building in downtown Detroit on July 28, 2018, in honour of former Detroit Tigers pitcher Jack Morris, 2018 inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.