Less than a month after entering Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Alan Trammell, the Detroit Tigers’ legendary shortstop, was immortalized in Detroit as the Tigers forever retired his No. 3. The club unveiled his name and number in a pregame ceremony on Sunday, which are now painted on the left-center field wall alongside his teammate Jack Morris and other Tigers who have had their numbers retired.
Several of Trammell’s former Detroit team mates were on hand for the ceremony, including Whitaker, Kirk Gibson, Morris, Lance Parrish, Dan Petry, Dave Rozema, Tom Brookens, Frank Tanana, and David Wells.
Fans were shown a video with some of Trammell’s highlights from his 20 year career, set the tune of Detroit’s own Bob Seger’s “Still the Same.” Recorded congratulations from Ozzie Smith, Jim Leyland, and George Brett paid tribute to the man of the day.
The greatest shortstop in #Tigers history. #3Forever | #DetroitSummers pic.twitter.com/c8s2BqqpfA— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 26, 2018
Dan Dickerson hosted the ceremony as Gibson and Whitaker each spoke before Trammell was given the microphone. When Whitaker was called to speak, the fans spontaneously shouted “Louuuuuuu.”
“I had the privilege to play side by side with Tram for 19 years.”
The best double play combo in baseball history. #3Forever | #DetroitSummers pic.twitter.com/nxhi5OsUHW— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 26, 2018
Trammell would later throw out the first pitch, fittingly, to his long-time double play partner, Lou Whitaker, who played with him for 19 seasons.
Once more, the putout goes 6-4. #3Forever | #DetroitSummers pic.twitter.com/M9l76alr6h— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 26, 2018
The duo turned 751 double plays together, more than any partners in history.
Trammell then spoke to the Detroit fans, giving thanks for their support.
“Tigers fans, I know you’re out there. Today is much about you as it is for me. Today, all Tigers fan can celebrate. It’s as much for the fans. They’ve treated me like a Hall-of-Famer well before I was inducted. This is for you. This is for you, and I mean that.”
He then gave a special mention to former manager, Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson. “We were taught by one of the masters of the game. He taught us how to play the right way.”
He then turned to Whitaker.
“To play with Whitaker was an absolute joy. Without him, I would not be here today. My hope, my dream is that some day, Lou will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and have his jersey retired here at Comerica park, like the rest of the Tiger greats.”
Finally, having given props to the fans, his teammates, and the Tigers’ organization, Trammell had a few words to say what the honors meant to him.
“My hope is that when fans come to Comerica Park, and see number 3 out there on that wall, the story that will be told, will be of someone that played the game the right way, was consistent, and accountable. It was my pleasure, to have worn the Olde English D my entire playing career”.
"It was my pleasure to have worn the Olde English D my entire playing career."#3Forever | #DetroitSummers pic.twitter.com/UoCM7sBAmr— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 26, 2018
Trammell is just one of 19 major league players to play at least 20 years in the major leagues all with one team. That list includes Al Kaline, who joined him on the dais for the ceremonies, along with owner Chris Ilitch and general manager Al Avila. Kaline and Trammell work in the organization as special assistants to the GM.
Ilitch then presented Trammel with gifts from the Tigers’ organization that included a framed photo of his final game as a Tiger, with all his Topps playing cards, a framed No. 3 jersey with his name, a seat from Tiger stadium, and a Waterford Crystal number 3, which was specially made in Waterford, Ireland.
Attention was directed to the brick wall in left-center field, where the number 3 with the name Trammell was unveiled to a standing ovation. Trammell was shown mouthing the word ‘wow” several times.
Now it's official. #3Forever | #DetroitSummers pic.twitter.com/B28tBYzflk— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 26, 2018
Trammell is just the eighth Tiger player to have his number retired, joining Charlie Gehringer (2), Hank Greenberg (5), Al Kaline (6), Hal Newhouser (16), Willie Horton (23), Jack Morris (47) and Ty Cobb, who wore no number. Sparky Anderson’s number (11) is also retired.
The Detroit Free Press has video clips of some of the speeches from Sunday’s ceremony.