BBA HoF Ballot Discussion: Alan Trammell

by on December 31, 2009 · 1 comment

Alan Trammell

Nick: Alan Trammell ranks 69th all-time in career WAR.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at his offensive numbers. A stellar 1987 is the lone .900+ OPS season on the back of Trammell’s bubble gum card.

Twenty seasons of defensive excellence are enough to propel Trammell to his lofty WAR ranking.

He tops Ozzie Smith in that regard, so it’s hard to keep him out, right?

I’ll bite. Trammell is in.

Josh: You are biting?

Trammell was part of a great combo with Sweet Lou for a long time and is still one of the better baseball guys out there. I’ll give you some wiggle room due to the fact that Ozzie and Cal both overshadowed him from the SS position for the majority of his career. To tell you the truth, I guess it doesn’t favor him to be a complete player (a lot like Larkin) but not flashy.

One last thing that doesn’t bode well for him or anybody for that matter when trying to get enshrined in the HOF. Of all the awards the game hands out, winning Comeback Player of the Year as Alan did in 1983 doesn’t exactly scream one of the top 1%. He is not on my ballot.

Nick: Oh, Comeback Player is a bogus award to begin with.

He improved from 1981 to 1982 as well, why not give him the award then?

1983 was arguably one of the best three seasons Trammell had in the league – so you give a guy a CPoY award because he put together one of the better years of his career? Bunk.

Shortstop is a premium position and should be treated as such, I’m on board with you there.

But if Ozzie Smith is in on the merits of his glove, Trammell can’t be far behind with his combined offensive and defensive output.

69th in career WAR. He was worth more to his team, in wins, than all but 68 players in the history of Major League Baseball. I can’t overlook that.

Josh: WAR is a great stat, can overlook that indeed. And I won’t try to downplay his glove play, but how can everyone be wrong for 8 years in a row now? The main thing that stands out for me is that Trammell is cursed by the 80’s — a decade stuck between stand-out teams of the 1970’s and offensive overload of the 1990’s. Is that a fair thing to hold against him? honestly no, but it isn’t enough to push him past the 20% he has failed to achieve on every ballot.

Nick: Just because 80%-85% of the vote-holders are wrong, that doesn’t mean we have to be.

Josh: I guess I’m not as big a softy as you 😉

Guess since your little one is on the way it is getting to you…

Nick: Oh here we go, now you’re attacking me too?!

Remember the last arguments I posted to sway you on Larkin? Larkin is 7th all-time in runs created for shortstops and 9th all-time in career WAR for shortstops? That sold you, right?

Trammell is 9th in RC and 11th all-time career WAR. Two WAR less than Larkin. The guy was a player. Positional scarcity DOES enter the equation here. I think he’s a HOFer.

Sold yet?

Josh: You HAVE made me see the error of my ways with what could be an infield dominated HOF class. Sign up the whole PH8 team in the Trammell corner.


I win this time, but the Edgar Martinez discussion is contentious.

Do you agree that Trammell is Hall of Fame-worthy?

Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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