Alan Trammell. I don't even know where to start with him. Just look at the stats.
Home Runs: 185
Stolen Bases: 236
Career Batting Average: .285
Yeah, I know. Nomah racked up twice those numbers just from 1998-2000. I ain't talkin' bout Nomah. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Trammell a big star in the '80s? Multiple Gold Gloves? Multiple All-Star appearances? Multiple Silver Sluggers? Led the Tigers to a Championship in '84? Damn near (probably should have) won an MVP in '87? Why can't he get more than 18% of the vote?
His offensive numbers aren't spectacular compared to the stuff you see today. They don't make your nether regions get all tingly just by looking at them. He was a shortstop folks! With very few exceptions shortstop was NOT an offensive position back in the day! You got the best defender in the infield with the best arm and the best range and put him behind your pitcher to make plays and get outs and save runs. (See: Concepcion, Dave) Offensive output was a bonus. This did not really change until Ripken. Then the A-Rod/Nomah/Miggy/Jeter wave hit and all of a sudden teams have to demand serious production out of their middle infielders. And guess what? While .285 with 185 dingers doesn't look elite with today's eyes (Rich Aurilia has similar numbers to that) the reality is in that era a shortstop with that kind of production with Gold Glove defense is amazing. The Tigers didn't win all those games in the '80s despite Tram and Sweet Lou in the middle of the infield. Bill James ranked him in the top 10 shortstops of all time in '01. So why can't he crack 20%?
Part of the reason I chose the neat, but admittedly weird card for Trammell is that sometimes I wonder what voters are thinking when they put the stamp on their Hall ballot and mail it in. This time of year there are tons of cheap and easy articles from BBWAA members explaining their dubious Hall votes. not many put Alan on their ballot. Hell, I didn't even put him on my fake imaginary ballot becayse I ran out of votes. But why is the conventional wisdom stating that he's definitly not a Hall of Famer when he was an excellent hitter, fielder, leader and Champion? He wasn't Cal Ripken? He played for Detroit? He managed a dreadful team? I don't know, man. I don't know.
Prediction: As gloomy as I am about Hall balloting lately, I'm going to be optimistic and say Alan breaks 100 votes and 20% this time around.
This card: 2005 Leaf Century Collection Alan Trammell Bat/ Stamp combo #32/39.
Rookie cards: 1978 Topps, 1978 Burger King
Also: Dude was on Magnum P.I.! Come on!!