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:
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is entering his 25th season as a professional baseball player and his 17th in the major leagues. The 43-year-old is potentially under contract through the 2018 season if the Marlins choose to pick up his club option.
Few players are able to continue their careers into their mid-40’s. No surprise, Suzuki is the oldest position player in baseball. Only Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon, is older, and only by 51 days. Suzuki, however, wants to play until he’s 50 years old, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports.
“I’m not joking when I say it,” Suzuki said. He continued, “Nobody knows what the future holds. But the way I feel, how I’m thinking, I feel like nothing can stop me from doing it. When you retire from baseball, you have until the day you die to rest.”
When asked about what will happen when Suzuki finally does decide to retire, Suzuki responded, “I think I’ll just die.”
Last season, Suzuki showed he still has plenty left in the tank. He hit .291/.354/.376 with 21 extra-base hits, 48 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 365 plate appearances. If the Marlins’ outfielders stay healthy, Suzuki won’t be starting many games in 2017. He started in right field frequently during the second half last year, filling in for the injured Giancarlo Stanton.