July 26, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Hall of Fame grapevine: Mr. Tiger Al Kaline goes to bat for Alan Trammell

Former Braves and Cubs ace Greg Maddux signs autographs during a Hall of Fame golf outing Saturday in Cooperstown, N.Y. (Mike Groll / Associated Press)

Seen and overheard during Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y.:

Kaline sounds off

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick caught up with Mr. Tiger, Al Kaline, and asked him about Alan Trammell’s continued lack of support in the voting.

“I’ve always thought that he should be in the Hall of Fame,” Kaline told Crasnick. “He should certainly get more recognition than he’s gotten. I’m not being prejudiced because I’m a Detroit Tiger. I watched him play for over 20 years. He was an outstanding fielder and a very clutch hitter. He was MVP of the World Series and a leader of the club.

“I’ve been totally shocked that he hasn’t gotten more votes.”

Trammell has two more years of eligibility, but never has even reached the 40-percent plateau — well off the 75 percent of needs needed for induction.

Tiger Town

The Tigers may not be well-represented in the hallowed halls of the Hall of Fame.

But there is plenty of representation in Cooperstown this week.

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and former manager Jim Leyland are in town to celebrate with their good friend, 2014 inductee Tony La Russa. The three were spied eating a swanky dinner at Italian eatery, Nicoletta’s, on Friday night, along with Dombrowski’s teen-age son, Landon.

Leyland was mobbed when he tried to sneak outside for a cigarette, but, as always, he was gracious, taking pictures — especially with the younger fans.

Around the horn

On Sunday, “The Big Hurt,” Frank Thomas, will be the first baseball player from college’s Southeastern Conference to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame, per Fox Sports. He played at Auburn.

... There will be no logo on the cap for La Russa’s plaque. Having spent big portions of his managerial career with the White Sox, A’s and Cardinals, he didn’t want to choose.

... Joe Garagiola was honored with the Buck O’Neil Award during a ceremony Saturday. One of his sons, Steve, is an anchor and reporter at Channel 4 in Detroit.

... Here’s what Sunday’s induction ceremony might look like in Legos.

He said it

Greg Maddux on his Hall of Fame speech being shorter than ex-Braves teammate Tom Glavine’s:

“That’s not out of the ordinary. I usually have less to say than Glav.”

Final word

This time next year, our own Tom Gage could be a Baseball Hall of Famer.

He’s one of three finalists for the 2015 J.G. Taylor Spink Award, the winner of which will be announced in December at the winter meetings in San Diego.

Detroit News wire services

tpaul@detroitnews.com

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