|Jack Morris on the road in the 1980's.|
|Alan Trammell, about to throw a runner out at first.|
|Alan Trammell and Jack Morris, December 2017.|
Last week Jack Morris and Alan Trammell were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Modern Baseball Era Veteran’s Committee. I shared my thoughts about the eligible candidates in this post. While I argued that Jack Morris doesn’t truly deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, I can understand why he was elected. Morris received 67.7% of the vote in 2013, his second to the last year on the BBWAA ballot, and every player who has received more than 60% of the vote has eventually been elected, with the exception of Gil Hodges. And while the committee wasn’t packed with sabermetrically minded stats geeks, it was packed with guys like George Brett, Rod Carew, Robin Yount, and Dave Winfield, who all faced Morris for years during his prime. And it says something that Morris was inducted by a group that included a number of hitters who had extensive experience playing against him. Even though I argued against Morris’ induction, I’m not going to rain on his parade. He got in, good for him. Morris certainly didn’t ask to become a lightning rod in the Hall of Fame debate. He seems like a really nice guy, and obviously, this is a highlight of his career.
While Morris’ induction might lead to the inevitable arguments of “He’s in, so now these other guys should all be in,” realistically, I don’t think it will lead to a surge of say, Frank Tanana and Dennis Martinez getting into the Hall of Fame. There simply aren’t many pitchers with more than 250 wins and as many complete games as Morris had who aren’t worthy of the Hall of Fame.
Alan Trammell, on the other hand, was a fantastic selection, and I was very excited that he was chosen. One of the best shortstops ever, Trammell’s stats may have been overshadowed by the shortstops of the steroid era, but he clearly deserves his place in the Hall of Fame. Now we just need to get Lou Whitaker inducted.
Unfortunately, Ted Simmons fell one vote short of induction, which is pretty impressive for a player who dropped off the BBWAA ballot after just one season. Maybe he’ll make it in a future election.