Former Detroit Tigers shortstop Alan Trammell was one of the best players at his position in Major League Baseball history.
He put together a consistent 20-year career, routinely putting up solid numbers while being a cornerstone of the Tigers franchise.
Happy birthday to Alan Trammell! 🎉🎂 pic.twitter.com/ogHYfSGND4
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) February 21, 2019
Fans in Detroit also remember his contributions during the 1984 World Series where he won the MVP award.
Here is a look at his entire career in baseball, and where he is today.
A Quick Riser
Trammell was drafted out of high school by the Tigers in the second round of the 1976 MLB Draft.
Right after his high school All-Star game, he entered the minors.
At the Rookie level, Trammell stood out as an 18-year-old, hitting .271 and played above average defense.
This earned him a call up to the Tigers’ Double-A team, where he was nearly five years younger than most of the other players.
He struggled at this level, hitting just .179 in 21 games.
However, the Tigers saw his potential to grow as a hitter as he matured physically.
The following season he started in Double-A again, and it became clear that he developed at the plate.
He played 134 games and hit .291, slugging three home runs and showing that he was ready for a Major League opportunity.
This came on Sept. 9, as he was called up to the Tigers along with second baseman Lou Whitaker.
The two became a double play duo in the Majors for the next 19 seasons, playing the most games together as a pair in MLB history.
Lou Whitaker belongs next to Alan Trammell in Cooperstown. Not sure anyone was ever shafted worse by the BBWAA. 2.9% and off the ballot in one year is a travesty. pic.twitter.com/8BUqVXlQ5Q
— Super 70s Sports (@Super70sSports) June 21, 2019
At just 19-and-a-half years old, Trammell was the youngest player in the Majors.
Similar to a year before, he struggled with the initial transition to a higher level.
He played in 19 games, hitting just .186.
However, this quiet beginning would mark the start of a long and prosperous career with the Tigers.
Trammell Develops Into All-Star
1978 was Trammell’s first full season in the Majors.
He finished the year with a .268 average and two home runs, earning him a fourth-place finish in the Rookie of the Year voting.
The following season he showed even more improvement, hitting .276 and tallying six home runs.
With over two full years of experience in MLB, Trammell was still just entering his age-22 season in 1980.
This would prove to be his breakout year.
He earned his first All-Star appearance after hitting .300, with a .376 OBP and nine home runs while also winning a Gold Glove Award.
In the next two seasons, Trammell struggled at the plate and hit just .258.
He earned his second Gold Glove in 1981 after committing just four errors in the strike-shortened season.
After taking steps back at the plate, Trammell had a strong resurgence in 1983.
He hit a career-best .319 and added 14 home runs and 30 stolen bases, while earning another Gold Glove.
By this point, Trammell established himself as one of the best shortstops in all of baseball.
This would be cemented the next year in 1984.
Trammell Becomes Tigers Legend
After the best season of his career, Trammell entered the 1984 season looking to add to the success he had in his young MLB career.
He did just that, posting a .314 average with 14 home runs and a career-high 69 RBI while earning his second All-Star selection.
Along with this, the Tigers made the postseason for the first time in Trammell’s career.
He took advantage of it, posting one of the most dominant postseason performances.
After hitting .364 in an ALCS win over the Kansas City Royals, he reached a different level in the World Series.
Trammell hit .450 with two home runs in Game 4 and six total RBI in a 4-1 series win over the San Diego Padres, giving the Tigers their first championship in 16 years.
Still needs a little color correcting, but here's the completed painting of Alan Trammell's second home run during Game 4 of the 1984 World Series. pic.twitter.com/x99kasYc7I
— Graig Kreindler (@GraigKreindler) December 23, 2021
This performance earned him the World Series MVP honors and etched his place in Tigers history.
He continued his production in the following years, though the Tigers never returned to the World Series.
In 1985 he hit just .258 but earned the third All-Star appearance of his career.
His best season would come in 1987, as Trammell posted one of the most dominant and well-rounded years by a shortstop.
He posted a high .343 average with a career-high 28 home runs and 105 RBI, adding 21 stolen bases as well.
With a position player-best 8.2 WAR, Trammell finished just behind George Bell in the MVP voting.
He followed this season with another year having an average over .300, finishing at .311 with 15 home runs.
His final full season came in 1990, as he played in 146 games and posted a .304 average on his way to his sixth and final All-Star selection.
Knee and ankle injuries began limiting Trammell’s time on the field starting in 1991.
In 1992, he suffered a broken ankle that ended his season early as he appeared in just 29 games.
He had a resurgence in 1993, taking a utility role and batting .329 in 112 games.
However, the players’ strike shortened the seasons in 1994 and 1995, and the aging Trammell decided to retire after the 1996 season.
A Career To Remember
By the end of his career, Trammell tallied 2,365 hits, 185 home runs and a .285 batting average.
The #WorldSeries is a good time to step up.
Cue Alan Trammell. pic.twitter.com/zfoIeBgJzD
— MLB (@MLB) December 11, 2017
He finished with four Gold Gloves and a reputation of being a stout defender.
All of this together gave him a strong resumé when his Hall of Fame eligibility came up.
Though he didn’t make it during the original voting, he was elected on the Modern Baseball Era ballot in 2018.
He made it in alongside his former teammate in Detroit, Jack Morris, cementing their legacies in MLB.
“Tram did it all.”
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 29, 2018
After retiring, Trammell stayed around the sport.
He was named as the Tigers manager in 2002 and struggled to coach the team to a winning record.
The Tigers decided to fire him before the 2006 season, hiring Jim Leyland who led the organization to a World Series appearance that season.
Trammell then served as the bench coach for the Chicago Cubs from 2007-2010, and for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2011-2014.
He currently is serving as a special assistant for the Tigers, sticking around the organization today.
Who better for Tork to get fielding tips from than Alan Trammell? pic.twitter.com/ZZCSggTYBI
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) July 8, 2020