In his final year of eligibility Detroit Tigers ace, and three time World Series Champion Jack Morris failed to get elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America. That does not mean he will not one day be enshrined, as it seems likely the Veterans Committee will one day get him into the Hall. However, for Detroit baseball fans we once again view this s a snub of one of the greatest baseball teams ever assembled, and maybe one of the best teams in the history of our city to win a championship will likely not have a player elected to that sports hall. Maybe because of how good that team was from top to bottom it hurts all the individual pieces.
In fact we could say that for most of the Detroit teams that have won championships in my era of being a Detroit Sports fan. I am in my late 30’s and remember the ’84 Tigers, the ’89 Pistons, and the ’97 Wings. All three of those teams were very, very deep in talent and two of them have multiple players either in or likely to be in their respective sports Halls.
For every person the standard is different. I tend to lead towards the Rob Parker method for determining baseball Hall of Famers, and yes agreeing with that man makes me sick to my stomach. However, it was he who took to the Detroit Radio waves years ago and simply said he looks at a guy’s name and says yes or no as a member of the Hall. For example, Greg Maddux…an obvious hall of famer and the 16 members of the BBWAA that did not vote him on their ballots should no longer be allowed to vote.
Past that eye test, I think to be eligible for the Hall a player must have won the MVP or Cy Young at least once in his career. For me that eliminates Morris, and since he does not have one of the magic numbers for enshrinement I do not deem him Hall worthy. Using that standard only Willie Hernandez and Kirk Gibson would be Hall worthy as they each won a MVP in their career. However, I would make an exception to that rule for Alan Trammell, and yes I am biased as he was my favorite player growing up.
Trammell never won the MVP award, but we can effectively argue that he was robbed of that honor in 1987. He was also the MVP of the World Series in 1984. Based on offensive numbers alone he is right around the 10th best shortstop to ever play game. Does that mean he should be in the Hall? I am not so sure, but he compares more favorably to the players of his era already elected where his numbers make him the third best short stop. Again maybe that makes him very good but not exactly Hall worthy.
I think we have to come to the realization that no 1984 Tigers’ player is going to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Even Lou Whittaker didn’t think Morris was worthy, or course that was a little self serving since he though Morris’ success was due to him and Tram. However, the 1984 Tigers’ team was a true team. It was successful due not only to their star players but their bench and once that bench depth was depleted they never won another title. If any one of them is serving of enshrinement they all are, and I can think of no other 25 man roster that is more deserving of being elected as the sum of its parts rather than individually.
The good news for Tigers fans is the current roster as two sure fire Hall of Famers in Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander. There is little doubt that a guy who won a Triple Crown and back to back MVP’s will get elected, a less of a chance that a guy who won Rookie of the Year honors as well as a MVP and CY Young in the same year will not be worthy of enshrinement one day.