It took them much longer than anticipated, but the two members of the 1984 champion Detroit Tigers have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The former Tigers teammates were elected by the Hall of Fame Modern Era Committee, which voted them in on Sunday night at the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings.
They will become the 21st and 22nd players in Tigers history to be inducted into the Hall of Fame next summer and the first from the 1984 championship team, which is only represented in Cooperstown by manager Sparky Anderson.
Morris was selected on 14 of 16 ballots and Trammell was selected on 13 of 16 ballots.
Meanwhile, Ted Simmons' wait continues. So does the wait for Atlanta Braves great Dale Murphy.
That’s because Morris and Trammel were the only two candidates to make the cut this year.
Simmons, the former switch-hitting catcher and Cardinals Hall of Famer was not selected for the Modern Baseball Era’s Class of 2018. Needing 12 votes for election, Simmons fell one vote short.
It was Murphy’s first year to be considered by what was formerly known as the Veterans Committee, after the two-time former National League Most Valuable Player fell far short of the required votes from writers during his maximum 15 years on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot.
Simmons and Murphy can appear on the Modern Baseball Era ballot again when that committee meets in two years to make decisions for the 2020 induction year.
There are 16 voting members on electorate appointed by the Hall of Fame board for the Modern Baseball Era ballot. Each of the 16 voters could choose up to four nominees. A finalist had to receive at least 75 percent of the vote to be elected. Those selected will be inducted into the Hall on July 29 in Cooperstown.
This year's finalists included nine former players and one former executive. In addition to Simmons and Murphy, the committee passed on Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Dave Parker and Luis Tiant.
The 16-member committee was comprised of George Brett, Rod Carew, Bobby Cox, Dennis Eckersley, John Schuerholz, Don Sutton, Dave Winfield and Robin Yount, Sandy Alderson, Paul Beeston, Bob Castellini, Bill DeWitt, David Glass, Bob Elliott, Steve Hirdt and Jayson Stark. Hall of Fame chairman of the board Jane Forbes Clark served as the non-voting chairman of the committee.
Trammell was a model of consistency throughout his 20-year career — all with the Tigers — and served as the consummate professional at shortstop, both offensively and defensively.
Trammell, 59, hit .285 with 185 home runs and 236 stolen bases. He was a six-time All-Star with four AL Gold Glove Awards, three AL Silver Slugger Awards and was named the World Series Most Valuable Player in 1984.
Trammell was worth 70.4 Wins Above Replacement during his career, according to Baseball-Reference.com, and ranks 93rd all-time in that category, ahead of many current Hall of Famers. Though he never received more than 40.9 percent of the vote in his 15 years on the BBWAA ballot — well short of the 75 percent required for election — Trammell’s numbers compare favorably to shortstops inducted in the past, like Ozzie Guillen and Barry Larkin.
Trammell is currently a special assistant to Tigers GM Al Avila.
Morris, 62, came closer to the Hall of Fame in his stay on the BBWAA ballot, with a high-water mark of 61.5 percent, but still had to wait for the special election.
In 18 seasons, the right-hander went 254-186 with a 3.90 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 2,478 strikeouts. He is a three-time World Series champion, once each with the Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays.
Morris was worth 43.8 Wins Above Replacement during his career, according to Baseball-Reference.com. That metric, along with his high career ERA — a statistic which is often overlooked in today’s age of sabermetric advancements — are thought to be the reason he was not inducted by the BBWAA.
With his election, Morris has the highest ERA — 3.90 — of a starting pitcher in the Hall of Fame.
Murphy, 61, was one of baseball’s biggest stars in the 1980s and the face of the Braves franchise before being traded in 1990, his 15th season with Atlanta. The seven-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove Award played three more seasons on battered knees with the Phillies and Rockies before retiring with 398 home runs, 1,266 RBIs and 161 stolen bases in a career that spanned parts of 18 seasons through 1993.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (TNS) and David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS) contributed to this article.
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