It’s been a long time coming, but Alan Trammell and Jack Morris are both finally in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Now, the Tigers are taking the next logical step, and announced on Sunday that the team will retire Trammell’s jersey number 3 and Morris’ number 47. For many fans this feels like a long-overdue honor, especially for Trammell, who alongside Lou Whitaker has been a Tigers hero since the historic 1984 World Series season.
Chris Ilitch, the Detroit Tigers owner, spoke highly of Morris and Trammell when he announced the retirement.
“On behalf of the entire Detroit Tigers organization, it’s an honor to congratulate Alan Trammell and Jack Morris on their election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. This announcement is truly a proud moment for all of us, and for the legions of Tigers fans who watched these all-time greats excel during their years wearing the Olde English “D.” Their achievements on the field, and character off, exemplify what’s best about the sport of baseball — and I’m thrilled the Modern Era Committee saw fit to enshrine Tram and Jack in Cooperstown.
All of us with the Tigers are looking forward to August, when we will be honoring these legends by retiring their numbers at Comerica Park.”
There’s no doubt whatsoever that both Trammell and Morris deserve to have their numbers retired. The ceremony will take place in August, but the decision to retire the number 3, especially, brings up a couple questions.
First: what about Ian Kinsler?
Kinsler, who even includes the iconic number 3 in his Instagram handle, will likely be traded this offseason, making a number change concern a moot point for the second baseman. However if he does stay in Detroit, he would simply be assigned a new number, something he would certainly handle with grace. Kinsler even took to social media to congratulate Tram with this post:
The other major question that arises as a result of the number retirement, is what about Lou Whitaker?
The legendary second baseman, and double play partner to Trammell’s shortstop, was also eligible for a Hall of Fame vote this year but didn’t make the cut for the ballot. He was also dropped from the standard Hall of Fame ballot after only one year, failing to meet the minimum number of votes to stay on. It seems as if the odds have been stacked against Sweet Lou from the offset. He will be eligible for the Modern Era vote again in 2019 when fans hope to see him join Tram and Morris in Cooperstown.
In the meantime, the Tigers should acknowledge their other ‘84 great, and retire Whitaker’s number 1 alongside Trammell’s 3. The pair both deserve to be honored, even if Whitaker hasn’t been placed in the Hall as of yet.
The team hasn’t retired a number since 2011, when they retired the number 11 of beloved skipped Sparky Anderson.
If they’re going to retired two numbers in 2018, why not make it three and give Lou Whitaker the respect and acknowledgement he deserves? It’s time.