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Would Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker be in the Hall of Fame if they had played in New York?

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Here’s a fact I didn’t know: of all of the pre-1995 teams, the 1984 Tigers and the 1981 Dodgers are the only two World Series champions who do not have a player in the Hall of Fame. I would’ve guessed there were more, as it seems quite possible to build a World Series winner consisting of a lot of very good players, but apparently it’s not terribly common.

Or maybe it has more to do with Hall of Fame voters overlooking players on those two teams. Hall of Fame voters getting it wrong isn’t exactly shocking, but here it’s not a 100% satisfying answer. After all, the 1981 Dodgers don’t have anyone who stands out as an obviously overlooked Hall of Famer. Steve Garvey came the closest, but he really didn’t deserve it. Maybe if, in another dimension, someone had put Pedro Guerrero at DH and left him there for his whole career he would’ve made it. Heck, maybe the Dodgers wouldn’t have won the World Series at all if it hadn’t been a strike year with weird playoff rules. The 1981 Reds had the best record in baseball that year and didn’t even make the playoffs because of the split season. They had Tom Seaver and Johnny Bench.

But whatever we say about that Dodgers team, I hope that we can agree that the 1984 Tigers have gotten boned in the Hall of Fame department. Specifically Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker. The Detroit News has an article about the two of them and other 1984 Tigers meeting for the team’s 30th anniversary the other night and about how they’d love to be considered by the Veteran’s Committee and that they’d like to go in together.

For what it’s worth, former Tigers’ broadcaster Paul Carey has an idea why each of them got short shrift:

“It’s because we’re Detroit, and not New York or Boston. You understand that?” said Paul Carey, Ernie Harwell’s long-time partner on Tigers broadcasts. “We’re west of the Hudson River, and that’s the problem.”

It’s hard to say, of course. But I do feel like Trammell and Whitaker would have a way, way higher profile if they had done what they did in another, more glamorous city.

In other news, Whitaker and Trammell turned two at the anniversary celebration the other night:

source: Getty Images

BBWAA votes to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning next year

Cooperstown
Associated Press
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In addition to naming the Spink Award winner this morning, the Baseball Writers Association of America voted today to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning with next year’s vote for the 2018 induction class.

As of now, writers are encouraged to make their votes public and, if they do, they are placed on the BBWAA website. They are not required to, however, and a great many Hall of Fame voters do not. While ballot secrecy is laudable in politics, the Hall of Fame vote brings with it a fundamentally different set of concerns and sentiment has increasingly favored transparency, as opposed to secrecy when it comes to the Hall of Fame.

While some in opposition to this move may claim that public ballots will only lead to criticism, our view is that if you can’t handle some reasonable criticism over your Hall of Fame ballot, you probably need to get out of the business of making history, which is what voting for the Hall of Fame really is.

The Yankee2 to retire Derek Jeter’2 number next 2ea2on

Derek Jeter
Getty Images
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RE2PECT: The Yankees just announced that they will retire Derek Jeter’s number 2 next season. The ceremony will take place on May 14, 2017 at Yankee Stadium.

With Jeter’s number 2 retired the Yankees will have retired 21 numbers. Twenty-two if you count number 8 twice, given that it was retired for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. They also have retired 42 twice, once for Jackie Robinson, which every team has retired, and once for Mariano Rivera who donned 42 before the league-wide retirement of the number. The Yankees will also have put every single-digit number on the shelf. Except for zero, anyway, which no Yankees player has ever worn.

The retired pinstripes break down as follows:

1 Billy Martin
3 Babe Ruth
4 Lou Gehrig
5 Joe DiMaggio
6 Joe Torre
7 Mickey Mantle
8 Yogi Berra
8 Bill Dickey
9 Roger Maris
10 Phil Rizzuto
15 Thurman Munson
16 Whitey Ford
20 Jorge Posada
23 Don Mattingly
32 Elston Howard
37 Casey Stengel
42 Mariano Rivera
44 Reggie Jackson
46 Andy Pettitte
49 Ron Guidry
51 Bernie Williams