Several of Tram's peers will vote on HOF case

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Al Kaline, a previous veterans-committee voter, won’t be on the panel that determines Alan Trammell’s fate Hall-of-Fame later this week.

But several of Trammell’s 1980s contemporaries are on the 16-member, Modern Era committee, which could give the former Tigers shortstop a boost. Among his peers on the panel are George Brett, Rod Carew, Dennis Eckersley, Don Sutton, Dave Winfield and Robin Yount.

Other members of the committee include former manager Bobby Cox, former executive John Schuerholz, current executives Sandy Alderson, Paul Beeston, Bob Castellini and Bill DeWitt; and media members Bob Elliott, Steve Hirdt and Jayson Stark.

The committee is to meet Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., site of the 2017 winter meetings. They will discuss and debate the merits of 10 men on the Modern Era ballot — which takes up cases of careers that peaked during the 1970-87 time frame — and then will vote. Seventy-five percent, or 12 votes, are needed for election. Results will be announced at 6 p.m. Dec. 10 on MLB Network.

Trammell will be in Florida for the winter meetings as part of his role as an adviser in the Tigers' front office.

Trammell is considered by many experts to be the favorite of the 10-person ballot to earn election, but there’s one committee member who’s been on record saying, to him, Trammell falls just short, and that’s Stark. If Stark sticks to that, Trammell could only afford three more “no” votes.

Trammell, 59, is joined on the Modern Era ballot by former Tigers teammate Jack Morris, 62, former Michigan State star Steve Garvey and Southfield native Ted Simmons, as well as Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Luis Tiant and late players-association chief Marvin Miller.

Much of the talk about the Modern Era ballot has centered around who’s not on the ballot — namely, Trammell’s long-time double-play partner, Lou Whitaker — than who actually is. If Trammell doesn’t make it this time, he’ll have to wait another two years until the Modern Era committee reconvenes. There also are Today’s Game (1988-present), Golden Days (1950-69) and Early Baseball (1871-1949) committees.

Trammell recently told The News that if he had his choice, he’d prefer to wait two years for a chance to go in side-by-side with Whitaker.

“My dream has always been to go in together, and I stand by that,” Trammell said. “To me, that would the ultimate story.”

The Tigers remain one of two World Series champions through the mid-1990s to not have a Hall-of-Fame player; the other is the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers.

But Trammell’s case has gained steam over time, especially among the Sabermetric community, which doesn’t understand how the likes of Ozzie Smith and Barry Larkin breezed through election by the writers, while Trammell never got more than 40.9 percent of the 75 percent necessary.

Trammell and Morris, two stars of the Tigers’ last world championship, in 1984, each lasted a full 15 years on the writers’ Hall-of-Fame ballot, with Trammell never getting close to election, while Morris fell just short multiple times. Trammell last was on the writers’ ballot in 2016, Morris in 2014.

The 2018 Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony will be July 29, 2018, and anyone voted by the Modern Era committee will share the stage with whoever’s elected by the writers. Those results will be announced in late January.