Photograph By Ron Vesely/Getty Images
Jim Caple: I occasionally wonder whether Alan Trammell would be closer to the walls of Cooperstown had he won the 1987 AL MVP Award instead of finishing a close second to George Bell. Trammell hit .343 with 28 home runs, 109 runs, 105 RBIs and a .953 OPS that season compared to Bell's 47 home runs, 134 RBIs and .957 OPS. But Trammell was much more valuable defensively at shortstop than Bell was in left field. Trammell deserved the MVP that year, just as he deserves election to the Hall. He was a six-time All-Star, a four-time Gold Glove winner and batted .300 seven times. He had some power, was a superb fielder and a team leader. His career numbers fit in right among those of the average Hall of Fame shortstop. Detroit fans knew how valuable Trammell was but he didn't quite get the national attention that was directed at Ozzie Smith and Cal Ripken Jr. Perhaps an MVP would have made a difference. Oh well. At least he's still on the ballot and could eventually get enough votes, as opposed to doupleplay mate Lou Whitaker, who fell off the ballot his first year.