“I want to go into the Hall of Fame with Lou Whitaker.”
Shortstop Alan Trammel played his entire 19-year career with the Detroit Tigers. Second baseman Lou Whitaker played his entire 18-year career with the Tigers. Trammel rapped out 2,365 hits and Whitaker accumulated 2,369 base hits. Alan Trammel won four Gold Gloves and three Silver Slugger awards. Lou Whitaker won three Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger awards. Alan Trammel was a six-time All-Star, and Lou Whitaker was a five-time All-Star.
Alan Trammel and Lou Whitaker have a unique place in Major League Baseball history. Their first full season in the Major Leagues was 1978, and from late April of that season until 1995, they played alongside one another at shortstop and second base. They are the longest, continuous double-play combination in the long and storied history of MLB. Trammel and Whitaker both compiled impressive statistics; however, you cannot judge a shortstop and second baseman on statistics alone. Terrific shortstops “hold a team together”, and Alan Trammel did just that. Second baseman give a team “a spark”, and Whitaker certainly contributed in that manner.
A case can be made that both men belong in the Hall of Fame, and you would not get an argument from me in that discussion. Both played on the World Series Tiger team of 1984 and Trammel was named the Series MVP. Whitaker was taken in Baseball’s Amateur Draft in 1975; Trammel was selected a year later. And the Tigers were very wise to pair them together in the Minor Leagues and bring them up to the Major Leagues at the same time. Most prospects do not “make it” in the Major Leagues; however, the Tigers thought they had something really special in Alan Trammel and Lou Whitaker, and they were right on target.