The Baseball Writers Association of America announced the names of the 36 players on their Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. The list includes several former Detroit Tigers, including Jack Morris, Alan Trammell, Sean Casey, Todd Jones, Kenny Rogers, Luis Gonzalez and Jacque Jones.
Obviously, Morris and Trammell are considered all-time Tigers greats and were core members of the 1984 World Series winners.
One of the best "big game" starting pitchers in baseball history, Morris spent 14 of his 18 big league seasons in Detroit (1977-90), winning 198 games as a Tiger, fifth all-time in franchise history. Morris is second in career strikeouts as a Tiger with 1980 and games started at 408. He's fourth overall in innings pitched as a Tiger with 3042 2/3, eighth ion complete games with 154 and shutouts with 24. He made four All-Star teams while in Detroit, led the league in victories in 1981, tossed a no-hitter in 1984, and was a 20-game winner in 1986.
Morris narrowly missed election last year, garnering 67.7%. Up for vote a 15th time, Morris is in his last year of hall eligibility. If he doesn't get to 75% on this year's ballot, his fate will ultimately end up in the hands of the Veteran's Committee.
Trammell spent his entire career in Detroit, coming up to the team the same season as Morris, then spending the next 20 seasons as the Tigers' shortstop. Trammell made six All-Star teams, won four Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers and should have been the 1987 AL MVP. He is fifth overall in franchise history with 2293 games played, at bats with 8288, and 236 stolen bases. He's sixth overall in runs scored with 1231, seventh with 2365 hits, and his 1003 RBIs is tenth most as a Tiger.
Trammell is on the ballot for a 13th time, always garnering enough votes to remain on the ballot, but never coming close to election. Last go-round, Trammell received 33.6% of the vote. At this point, unless there is an unexpected surge in his vote totals, Trammell's only shot at the hall will be via the Veteran's Committee.
Jones had two tours of duty with the Tigers. The first tour for the Roller Coaster was 1997-2001, then returning for the final three seasons of his 16-year career, 2006-08. Jones is the franchise career save leader with 235, owning two of the top three save seasons in team history. In 2000 he made the All-Star Game and led the league in saves with 42.
Casey had a 12-year major league career and was picked up by the Tigers at the 2006 trade deadline. He shored up first base for the stretch drive, but showed his true worth in the post season. Casey was one of the Tigers' best hitters in the 2006 playoffs - .353 in the ALDS, .333 in ALCS and led all World Series batters with a .529 average. The Mayor returned in 2007, but was allowed to leave as a free agent after the season.
Rogers spent the final three seasons of his 20-year career in Detroit. Signed as a free agent, Rogers played a huge part in the Tigers' 2006 resurgence. He mentored a young staff while becoming the Tigers' ace with a 17-8 record and 3.84 ERA. He also made his fourth and final All-Star Game, won his fifth career Gold Glove and finished fifth in the Cy Young vote. Rogers will always be fondly remembered by Tigers fans for his marvelous 2006 post season, winning all three of his starts while not allowing a run in 23 playoff innings. But Rogers' great 2006 was his last as a front-line starter. His final two years in Detroit were injury wracked, and he retired after the 2008 season.
Gonzalez spent a forgettable 1998 with the Tigers, hitting .267 with 23 home runs and 71 RBIs. After the season, he was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Karim Garcia, a trade the Tigers would come to regret many times over.
For what it's worth, Jacque Jones is also on the ballot. He spent 24 games as a Tiger, hitting just .165 before being released in May of 2008. His tenure was one we'd all rather forget.
To earn entrance into the Baseball Hall of Fame, a player must be named on 75% of the ballots.To remain on the ballot the following year, a player must earn at least 5% of the vote. Ballots are due by December 31, 2013 with the results announced on January 8, 2014.
Returning nominees with years on ballot and percentage of votes earned in 2012:
Jeff Bagwell, four, 59.6%
Barry Bonds, two, 36.2%
Craig Biggio, two, 68.2%
Roger Clemens, two 37.6%
Edgar Martinez, five, 35.9%
Don Mattingly, 14, 13.2%
Fred McGriff, five, 20.7%
Mark McGwire, eight, 16.9%
Jack Morris, 15, 67.7%
Rafael Palmeiro, four, 8.8%
Mike Piazza, two, 57.8%
Tim Raines, seven, 52.2%
Curt Schilling, two, 38.8%
Lee Smith, 12, 47.8%
Sammy Sosa, two, 12.5%
Alan Trammell, 13, 33.6%
Larry Walker, four, 21.6%
First time nominees:
Paul Lo Duca