Trammell has number retired, lobbies for Whitaker
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT (AP) — On the day his No. 3 was retired by the Detroit Tigers, Hall of Famer Alan Trammell did some campaigning for his longtime keystone partner.
Now that Trammell is in the Hall and has been honored by the Tigers, does Lou Whitaker have a chance for any of these accolades as well?
“The love that Lou has not received, it bothers me,” Trammell said after Sunday’s pregame ceremony. “I’m shocked. Hopefully, maybe this will help get a little momentum. I meant what I said, that I hope that he’s in the Hall of Fame soon, and that he also has his number retired here at Comerica Park.”
Trammell was inducted into the Hall late last month, and now his name and number are on the brick wall beyond one of the bullpens at Comerica. Whitaker was on hand for the ceremony, which delayed the start of Detroit’s 7-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday by about a half-hour.
Trammell was with the Tigers from 1977-96, establishing himself as one of the game’s top shortstops. Whitaker was right alongside him at second base, playing for Detroit from 1977-95.
“We just had fun,” Whitaker said. “That would be the legacy there. Two young kids having fun, playing the game they love, for 19 years.”
Whitaker was a career .276 hitter with 244 home runs. Trammell hit .285 with 185 homers. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Whitaker had 75.1 wins above replacement for his career, more than Hall of Fame second basemen Ryne Sandberg (68) and Roberto Alomar (67.1).
Trammell and Whitaker were both with the Tigers in 1984, when they won the franchise’s most recent World Series title. Trammell was inducted to the Hall of Fame this year along with another member of that team, pitcher Jack Morris — and Morris also has his number retired on the wall next to Trammell’s.
“I can go out there and paint my name out there. Maybe that’s what I’ll do tonight,” Whitaker joked. “If you see paint on the wall tonight beside Trammell, then come look for Lou.”
There are also a handful of statues at the ballpark above the names and numbers beyond left-center field, and that topic came up when Trammell spoke after the ceremony.
“If there was a statue, don’t you think it would be appropriate, that it would be both of us? I mean, I do,” Trammell said. “Now whether or not it happens — nobody’s spoken to me, and I’m not trying to push the issue, you’re asking me a question — if it ever happened, to me that would be the way to do it.”