Last season fans were not happy the team allowed rookie shortstop Jose Iglesias to wear Lou Whitaker's number 1, which had been out of circulation since Sweet Lou's 1995 retirement. The Tigers have apparently decided to put another iconic number back in circulation, announcing via Twitter new second baseman Ian Kinsler will wear Alan Trammell's number 3 this coming season.
Meaning the Tigers' double play combination for 2014 will don the same numbers as two of the best players in franchise history, arguably amongst the best ever to play their respective positions in the game of baseball, both of whom have legitimate cases for the Hall of Fame (though the clueless members BBWAA incorrectly have decided otherwise, something the Veteran's Committee will have to address down the line). Despite their not being in the Hall of Fame, Trammell and Whitaker should have had their numbers retired by the team long, long ago.
Numbers which have been officially retired by the team: Charlie Gehringer - 2, Hank Greenberg - 5, Al Kaline - 6, Sparky Anderson - 11, Hal Newhouser - 16, Willie Horton - 23 (the 42 of Jackie Robinson is retired by every MLB franchise)
Unlike the Yankees, it's not as if the Tigers are running out of single-digit numbers. Unlike another Detroit pro sports franchise which seemingly retires numbers at will (I'm looking at you, Pistons. Vinnie Johnson? Really?), for better or worse the Tigers have been far more strict in taking numbers out of circulation. It's believed they have an unwritten rule - only Hall of Fame members get their numbers retired ... unless the organization deems otherwise. See Horton, Willie.
I hold nothing against Iglesias or Kinsler, talented players in their own right, asking to wear the numbers (The last to wear the 3 was Gary Sheffield in 2007-08, setting a precedent which shouldn't have been allowed to happen). They had no idea as to how important the 1 and 3 are in Tigers' lore and what the players who wore them represent to the fan base. On the other hand, the Tigers do. Apparently, they don't care.
Miguel Cabrera, for one, has made his feelings on the 3 known.
Give Cabrera credit for caring more about the team's history than the Tigers do.