Introducing… Alan Trammell

Six-time All-Star, four-time winner of the Gold Glove at shortstop, three-time Silver Slugger champ and the runner-up for the AL MVP Award in 1987, Detroit’s stellar shortstop has quite a few accolades in his arsenal.  However, despite all his hardware, he is seen as a two-headed monster – not a sole entity – joined with long-time double play partner Lou Whitaker.

Trammell and Whitaker became regulars in the Detroit lineup in 1978: Alan was 20 and Lou was 21.  The duo would turn double plays together on into the 1990s.  Alan had his breakout year in 1980 when he led AL shortstops with 69 walks and a .300 batting average.  He won his first Gold Glove that year and also made his first All-Star appearance.  Alan won his second Gold Glove in ’81 and put together an impressive ’83 campaign – leading all Major League shortstops with a .319 batting average. 

In 1984, Alan carried the Tigers to a World Series victory over the San Diego Padres.  Alan again paced all shortstops in hitting with a .314 batting average and also topped his position peers with 90 walks.  He hit .364 in an ALCS victory over the Kansas City Royals but topped his ALCS performance in the World Series, hitting Padre pitching to the tune of a .450 batting average.  In ’86, Alan led all shortstops with 107 runs scored and finished second to Cal Ripken Jr. with 27 homeruns and 75 RBI.

His finest season came in 1987.  Alan finished second in MVP voting with a remarkable line of .343 BA/28 HR/105 RBI – all leading stats for shortstops.  He also slugged .551 on the season: the only shortstop with a .500 or better mark.  He won the Silver Slugger Award for shortstops in ’87 and earned another SSA the following year, topping all shortstops with a .311 batting average.

Carrying on into the 1990s, Alan continued to star as one of the preeminent shortstops of the Major Leagues.  In 1990, Alan led his position peers in batting (.304), RBI (89) and doubles (37).  The next season Alan suffered an ankle injury and then reinjured the same ankle in ’92.  Minus Alan, the Tigers fell from 2nd place to 6th in ’92.  Many naysayers predicted the end of his career but Trammell proved them wrong by having a great comeback season in 1993.  Alan hit .329 and swatted 14 homers with a .498 slugging average.

1993 proved to be Alan’s final great season as the Player’s Strike in ’94 hindered his momentum and age caught up with him in ’95.  He retired after appearing in 66 games in 1996. 

Alan Trammell’s career stats: G 2,293/R 1,231/H 2,365/2B 412/HR 185/RBI 1,003/BB 850/SO 874/SB 236/BA .285/SA .415

1 comment
  1. brettkiser said:

    There are few shortstops in the game’s history with more hits than Trammell, who was also an exceptional defender (he retired with a career fielding percentage ten points above average). A lifelong Detroit Tiger, Alan was a gifted speed/power combo guy who could slap 20 homers and pilfer 20 bases. As good as Trammell was, the baseball writers have failed to give him 20% of the vote as of yet. That could be because one of Alan’s watch words was batting inconsistency. It wasn’t uncommon for his batting averages to flucuate 50 points between seasons. His HOF chances are average.

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